Striking content ‘gold’ may be easier than you think

Triana Jarman

In recent months we have been going to greater lengths to talk to our advertisers and better understand their pain-points. Something we heard on more than one occasion was that some organisations simply feel they don't have the right content to engage with their customers and prospects. When you consider that in the UK alone 89% of marketers use content marketing, but only 34% believe their organisation to be effective at it, these comments should probably not come as a surprise. This blog aims to address the challenges of creating content ‘gold’…

The good news is that you will almost definitely already have the right content at your fingertips. The bad news is that it may need to go through a stage of evolution from its current form to a shape that will better suit the exact audience you want to engage with. It may also need the right person to tell the story.

Lean on your in-house experts

So back to that good news… you don't need to reinvent the wheel! To start with, just take a look at the people around you. The chances are you work in an office (even if it’s a virtual office) which is full of people who are experts in their specialist area. You can be pretty sure that these people will at some point have documented some of this expertise. This will come in a tremendous variety of formats. Perhaps in producing copy for your website, delivering internal presentations, helping to write product brochures, supporting client proposals and a whole wealth of other areas. It’s not an especially huge leap to extract the relevant content and repurpose for use in a white paper, a webinar, or even for presenting at a live event.

Be a content curator, editor and producer

So you have the people to support you in creating your content ‘gold’, and you probably have the content itself in some form another, even if it comes in multiple formats which needs to be pulled together and edited as appropriate. And so we return to the bad news (which really isn't so bad now that you know you probably have some content foundations in place), you need to develop the elements of content that are already out there into a single piece of content that will effectively engage your target audience. To really get under the skin of content curation, check out our guide.

Decide who to target and step into their shoes

Before you go too much further, now’s the time to step back and take the time to consider exactly who it is you want to engage. What is their role? Where might they be in the buying process and where might you want to engage with them within that cycle (or should your content engage across the buying cycle)? How time pressured are they likely to be? What is the strength of their decision making influence? All of these factors and a great many more will shape the messaging, the format, the tone, etc., of the content you go on to create. It goes without saying that it’s not possible to bucket all prospects together, but consider your best or hottest prospect and get yourself well and truly in their shoes.

Choose the most appropriate content type

Now that you have a good understanding of that person (remember for content to resonate best, you should write as if you are talking to an individual and not a group) you're better placed to consider things such as the content depth. Will a simple overview be more effective in getting the message across or is your reader looking for more in-depth insight? Similarly, this knowledge will also help to dictate the most appropriate format. It may be that someone after unique insight, but with a degree of time-flexibility, may find a webinar the perfect solution, while those with greater time pressure will welcome a whitepaper that they can download and read at a time more convenient for them.

Find the right voice for your story

Another area for consideration as you formulate your content masterplan is question who is best placed to tell your story. Your leading salesman may be an expert at understanding the customer and delivering the most appropriate service, but while he or she may be able to offer invaluable support in creating the content, they may not be the most credible source for content in the eyes of your next prospect. Wherever you are on your journey to creating great content, try to involve a customer, a partner, an industry expert, a trade association or another trusted third party. It may add an extra step to the creation stage, but it may also be a key step to creating that content ‘gold’.

Looking for more?

Download yourself a copy of "The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing" which contains information, insights and tips on all the key points of content marketing success.