Creating content that connects with your audience is imperative. To do so, you know you need to put in place foundational tools to get started: buyer personas and brand messaging.
Once you’ve got that down, how do you actually write engaging content? What’s the secret sauce to make your content helpful, relevant and oh-so lovely?
Here, we have three simple ingredients that you can use to create engaging content. And it’s a lot simpler than you think!
1. Give Your Audience the Full Picture
Imagine someone’s showing you how to make a cake. They give you the full list of ingredients and explain how to mix them together, one by one.
But they leave out a critical piece of information: the temperature and length of time at which to bake the cake. Now you just have batter instead of the fluffy cake you were promised.
Cliffhangers can be gripping in films and novels, but they’re annoying for your audience. Your job in your marketing content is to take care of your readers from beginning to end. That means making your content as thorough as necessary to be useful.
Give your audience the full picture of the subject matter so they don’t feel like they’re missing out on important information. Whenever possible, show them the end result.
This doesn’t mean it’s okay to bore your audience to tears with unimportant details. You can be thorough without being exhaustive. Your audience came to your content to find answers, not to be an expert. Share valuable, relevant information that creates a sense of completion.
One way to be thorough is to link to helpful, high-authority resources. You can include the relevant details while still providing them an opportunity to seek further information. Plus, it shows that you did your research, which helps create a strong foundation of trust.
Questions to Ask to Ensure Your Content Is Complete
- What’s the intended goal of the piece ( e.g., is it to help my audience carry out a task, learn about a topic or make a choice)?
- Did I give the right information for my readers to achieve that goal?
- Did I leave out any essential information?
2. Offer the Right Details for the Right People
When people pop onto your page, they’re often seeking an answer to a burning question. When they bounce off your page, it can be due to not finding the information they were looking for. That’s where details come in.
Writing useful and relevant content means including relevant details. Notice the word relevant. You don’t want a bunch of random details or space-wasting fluff in there. Instead, focus on the details that truly matter to your specific audience.
So, how do you know which details to include? Consider two things:
- Who you’re writing for, and
- What level of understanding your audience has of the topic.
Who Are You Writing For?
We’ve written at length about buyer personas, or what we often refer to as ideal customer avatars (ICAs). This is for good reason, as it’s impossible to write content of any value if you don’t know who you’re targeting. If you’ve not yet taken the time to define your ideal client, do this first before creating any new marketing content.
How Much Does Your Audience Know?
Your audience’s particular expertise level also matters a great deal. They might be complete newbies to your topic or have an in-depth understanding of all the technical jargon.
Keep in mind your readers’ degree of understanding and include the details that are relevant to them. Are you writing for an expert or someone who’s just beginning to learn about the topic?
Here’s an example: Let’s say you’re writing about protein powder for seasoned bodybuilders. You most likely won’t have to explain why consuming protein is important for muscle building.
Instead, they’re probably searching for a full nutritional breakdown of protein powders on the market. Skip anything your audience already knows and focus on what’s valuable for them.
Questions to Ask to Ensure You Capture the Right Details
- Who is my audience?
- What’s their level of understanding of the subject?
- Are there any unrelated details that distract from the answers they need?
- Is there anything I’m missing that would add greater clarity or be helpful?
3. Keep it Current
It’s highly unlikely someone’s researching Halloween decorations in January or the best upcoming cell phones of 1997. To be engaging, your content needs to be relevant. To be relevant, your content must be current and deliberately scheduled.
Relevance depends on both what information you’re sharing and when you’re sharing it. Sometimes your audience is looking for ideas at certain times of the year.
Depending on your subject matter and audience, you may schedule content depending on the season, the calendar month or even certain holidays. Be intentional about when you’re publishing content, and consider when it’ll be most useful for your audience to consume.
Current Information Is Best
To get their questions answered, audiences expect the most recent information. They can’t achieve their goals when content is outdated. Your audience will appreciate that you’re using the most recent data to give them an accurate answer to their question.
Besides helping your readers, using current information reflects well on your brand and helps build authority. It shows you’re keeping up with the latest trends in your industry.
This gives your readers confidence that they can trust the information you’re sharing. As a result, they’re more likely to keep coming back for more.
The same goes for your research. Depending on your subject matter, ideally use resources that aren’t more than two years old. This will show your audience that you’re pulling from the most recent data. And don’t forget to cite your sources!
Update Your Content Regularly
Beyond the fact that audiences want current information, it’s important to keep updating your published content. Google and other search engines are looking for fresh content to deliver to online users.
If you have a blog, consider how often you’re refreshing old articles. If it’s been more than six months, it might be time to update and republish.
Questions to Ask About Your Content’s Timeliness
- How am I scheduling my content?
- Is this piece evergreen content or relevant to the current season, month or year?
- Is the information in this article up-to-date and accurate?
- Do I have older articles that need updating for relevancy or accuracy purposes?
Start Creating Useful Content That Connects With Your Ideal Audience
Even if you’ve got the tools, the mindset and the know-how, creating useful content isn’t always easy. If you’re struggling to produce awesome content that blows your audience’s mind, we can help! Reach out to our team today to learn about our content services.