We are living in a world of content overload. At any given moment you are flooded with an abundance of pieces relating to just about any topic known to man. As a marketer, you only have a mere few seconds for the reader to decide if they’re going to read your piece or move on to the next.
So, how do you create content that people want to view? It starts with understanding the way your audience thinks and then sleeting the right content for not only your story, but theirs. Your “story” is your soul, it’s what makes your firm different. Great content intertwines your story with that of your audience, forging a connection between you and the reader through the power of content. Once you have a topic that you know your readers will relate to, the story planning begins.
Decipher your audience and goal
What is the reader feeling?
Keep these factors in mind as you craft your language and present your content. You don’t want to be light and uplifting when you want the reader to realize the severity of a situation. Nor do you want to be succinct and rigid when you are trying to present and persuade them to an idea. Pick a tone that matches your target audience and avoid words or phrases that they will need to google, unless of course they are well explained in the content.
Selecting the right format
Article — the most common and traditional avenue of delivering information. Articles work great when there is a specific topic that can be discussed in some length. Articles should range from 600-1200 words and aim to bring light to new ideas, discuss issues, or showcase an argument. It should have a major theme or thesis that is consistent throughout the entire piece and end with a distinct call to action — whether it be contact us, read more, join our newsletter, etc.
List —lists work well with younger audiences (under 40) looking for quick and informative content. They will likely determine their interest within the first 2 bullets, so make sure that you keep your information light, interesting and even a little humorous. Lists work well for topics where your goal is building a relationship and trust, not necessarily selling your service.
Podcast/Webcast — a somewhat new form of communication, yet an extremely relevant one. If you have a topic that would be well received in a conversational manner, perhaps something that could use a question and answer format, a podcast or webcast may be the route to go. This communication can allow for viewer questions and a more interactive platform. Podcasts and webcasts are useful for covering topics with multiple points of view or angles, or covering topics that require more than an article’s worth of content.
FAQ — frequently asked questions (FAQ) will resonate well for those learning about a new topic or update. You will want to include basic information as well more advanced or detailed questions and order them in a cascading fashion from basic to complex. FAQ are great when you have a broad topic with various points and random tidbits you want to touch on without going into great length. Make the questions clear, relevant and targeted to multiple audiences so that your entire audience will find something of interest.
Infographic —infographics work great when there is a complicated situation with LOTS of data. Numbers, percentages, ratios, etc. They resonate well with any crowd and aim to provide clarity for a complex situation. Infographics serve as a nice teaser to a more in-depth article or whitepaper and help to showcase lots of data without being too technical. Again, the viewer will decipher their level of interest within seconds, so be sure to design your piece with your target in mind (color schemes, imagery, fonts). Aim for simple images with light written content.
Whitepaper — topics with hefty technical content are perfect for a whitepaper —accountants rejoice! These topics should be lengthy and go into great depth and analysis. They will likely be read by folks who already have a good understanding of accounting, so this is a good opportunity to unleash that technical talk. Whitepapers are very good opportunity to gather leads and reader information by requiring a download. That way you can get their email address and have your experts follow up with them after.
The right story told in the right way has the power to turn your content into something powerful. Don’t be afraid to try new things and see what resonate best with your audience.