Understanding how to write compelling content is the jewel in any savvy content marketer’s crown.
There’s a good reason why 82% of marketers actively use content marketing, with nearly 40% pointing to content marketing as a very important part of their overall marketing strategy.
Content is critical to inbound marketing. It allows you to drive awareness, connect with your audience, build relationships, enhance brand credibility, increase conversions, and generate leads. Yet in what is an incredibly competitive landscape, ensuring your content strategy cuts above the noise can be difficult.
A recent study from Microsoft revealed that human attention spans now last just eight seconds, a drop of four seconds since 2000.
This is the result of the content-crammed world we now live in. Today, companies around the world are battling for our attention more than ever before, with consumer eyeballs having become the ultimate prize upon which billion-dollar industries are built.
To attract and sustain this attention effectively, it is crucial to know exactly how to write compelling content.
Indeed, getting your content strategy right can pay dividends.
56% of marketers that incorporate blogging into their marketing strategy say its effective, with 10% stating that it generates the biggest return on investment. Equally, studies show that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, and generates roughly three times as many leads.
So, how exactly can you develop an effective content marketing strategy? Here are seven tips detailing how to write compelling content to enhance your inbound marketing efforts.
Understand your audience
To speak directly to your customers and prospects, you must first get to grips with their motivations, needs, behaviours, challenges, pain points and goals. These will vary at different stages throughout the customer journey. For example, someone who has just discovered your brand will want different information than a dedicated brand loyalist. Therefore, you will need to develop a multi-stage content strategy to deliver relevant content to every prospect and every customer.
Understand your channels
You will also need to understand the various channels that you can publish to, from your own website or social media platforms. Doing so will reveal where your target audience is hanging out. If you want to market to a younger demographic, you may want to focus your efforts on TikTok and Instagram, it all depends on your audience and where they are active online.
Understand your goals
Are you producing content simply because you think you should be? If the answer’s yes, then stop immediately. Each and every piece of content you produce should have a purpose. You need to be able to justify why you are producing it and pinpoint exactly which marketing goals it contributes to, including a call to action (CTA) that aligns with this purpose, be it educating your audience or generating leads.
By researching keywords, you can align your content marketing efforts with the terms your audience are already searching for. This is the first step to creating an effective SEO campaign that can be used to improve organic search rankings, traffic and visibility, allowing you to get your brand in front of more prospects. There’s no debate that these are key business goals – by helping your organisation stride towards them, you’ll clearly be able to demonstrate the impact that your marketing efforts have on the company’s bottom line.
Write your content
Attracting eyeballs is just one part of the marketing puzzle. For content to deliver the outcomes you’re looking for, it must be interesting and engaging. When considering how to write compelling content, you must include a captivating headline and introduction to hook readers. All content should maintain a consistent brand voice and narrow focus, providing knowledge that readers truly want. Therefore, be sure to include actionable tips and useful information.
To reach your audience, you need to circulate your content wisely. From traditional PR to paid social media advertisement, consider the channels that are most appropriate to your audience and work to understand the optimal methods of promotion on each one. LinkedIn will require a different approach to Twitter, for example.
Measure the impact
All these steps are redundant if your content doesn’t deliver a return on investment. To understand whether you’re getting bang for your buck, look to track various metrics such as the volume and quality of leads generated from each piece of content to web traffic, bounce rates, social media engagement, SEO performance and sales. Measuring these performance indicators will provide the evidence you need to build a personal marketing portfolio based on results, putting you in good stead to smash your next performance review, board meeting or job interview.
To explore these steps in more detail, download our FREE content marketing toolkit.