You’ve figured out your content strategy, and now onto step two – getting your content writing done.
Creating content on topics your target market care about
Good content needs to be something that informs, educates, or entertains an audience. This step requires a great deal of listening and reading, to find out what the target market need or want.
Here are a few places you can start, to find out what’s happening:
— Think about the common questions people ask about your business and services
— Find your audience online or offline, and look for trends in the topics they bring up
- Think of social media groups, forums, retail establishments they may go to, venues
- Survey them if you already have a client base
— Research what the common issues/topics are
- Visit a public library – many have free databases and resources for businesses
- Take a look in Google Adwords Keyword Planner to see what is popular
- Use social media to see what’s trending
- Check out what the competition is writing about
Writing content with purpose
Good content is about what is the intent behind your piece. Is it for entertainment? Is it to persuade them? To inform them? Understanding what you’re writing for helps you understand what type of format your content needs to live in. More educational, in-depth pieces may need to be delivered as a webinar or white paper. Quick informational pieces that are less than a 5 minute read may be better suited to a website blog, social media article or even printed materials at trade shows. The purpose will start shaping your writing.
Write, dictate, journal, draw or think about your content
Some people may tell you to start writing out your title and introduction, keywords, etc. I agree they are valuable parts of the process, but I recommend starting with the creative part. The last thing you want is to think about all this structure, and then talk yourself out of writing or limit yourself. We’ll tackle those other parts in editing, once you have some content.
Start jotting notes, writing in a journal, talking to people and experts, drawing – whatever is your style to brainstorm ideas. Get everything out. I tend to write mine in Microsoft Word, think about it at night, and then save multiple versions as I go along, in case I wrote something great, changed it, and then wanted it back. Chances are you will need a few drafts before getting it where you like it, so let version one flow.
Putting your draft together
Once you have a lot of your creative thoughts out, start putting it together in its form. If it’s going to end up as a webinar, group the information as to how it would be presented. If it’s for website content, see how you can group pieces together for pages about your product and services, about you, and others. As you move things around, look for any gaps in what you’ve written, identify parts that you’re missing, and keep going.
Check if you addressed your target market’s pain point
This is key to ensuring you’re writing good content – does it address something your target market needs, wants, or enjoys? One of my favourite tools to use is ‘ask yourself why, 3 times.’ Let’s say we were offering email addresses to University students. Why would university students want our email addresses? Let’s say it’s because we are the only domain that offers the most storage space across the entire universe. So why would a university student care? Well, they’d care because that means they can keep large files like videos, photos, project work and research papers in their email. Why does that matter? Because it’s annoying to have to pick what you want to keep and delete the least important items, especially when you’re blocked from receiving anything else. This last section got to the why. It is what connects with your user, because they can relate to that moment when their computer tells them they’ve used up all their space. This is what you need to check your draft for – have you written it to address the clients’ issues and connected with them?
If it does, then great, prepare yourself for editing your content. If not, keep trying – writing good content takes time to ensure it lands well with your target market. If you’re in a bind for time though, you may want to consider hiring an expert so you can keep things moving.
Sensible Marketer Inc offers marketing consulting services for startups to enterprises, to better use customer insights in marketing, advertising and decision-making practices. If you need help with your content strategy and development, we’re here to help.
Contact us today for a coffee chat to discuss how we can work together.