7 Ways to Create More Effective Content
Writing online content is different than other kinds of writing. It has to meet all sorts of functional objectives like including links and feature keywords. But content also has to attract readers and enhance your brand. Here’s how we do that at Cup O Content.
1. Test, Test, Test
You may know all kinds of things about your audience, but they may behave differently online. That’s why Cup O Content likes to test a few approaches before committing to one message or strategy. You don’t have to change your core message or benefit, but you can experiment with how you are communicating that message. For example, ads featuring people outperformed ads without people for one client. Another client found highly technical product shots won out every time. An online commerce client found that “So Many Choices” was a more compelling message than “Free Shipping.”
The best part of digital marketing is that it’s fluid and easy to change. It’s also easy to test two images or two headlines or two sets of text. So do it over and over until you find clear winners that help you reach more people with fewer dollars.
2. Segment Audiences
Instead of creating one message to meet all needs, slice and dice your messages in ways that directly meet the needs of a smaller audience. Offline, marketers got used to focusing on the most extensive market because that used to be more cost-efficient. In the digital world, you can efficiently target several audiences and create messages for each.
3. Pay Attention to Mobile Optimization
While most business people look at ads and content on big desktops, most of your customers are looking at it on mobile (and that includes B2B customers). So, preview your ads in mobile formats. Remember that photos and images will appear very small, so keep them simple and easy to view. Make sure your website is fully optimized for mobile viewing. (Test it for free here.)
Don’t forget to preview emails in mobile formats to ensure they are easy to read on smartphones.
4. Give Your Customers What They Want, But Stick to Your Core Values
Testing is great, but never test anything that conflicts with your core values—being authentic, consistent, and ethical matters.
5. Create High-Quality Content
According to a study on Teach Taught, “fewer than 50 percent of college seniors feel their writing improved during college.” And we can tell you from experience that most people aren’t great writers. That’s why we’re here for you. We are experts in developing, creating, and dispersing content. We think you should hire us to create your content. But if that’s not an option, many blogs on this site offer very specific writing tips, including the following:
6. Curate Content Like a Pro
Content curation is finding the best existing content and bringing it together for your readers. Cup O Content sometimes does this in the form of reading lists or lists of best blogs.
The goal is to offer relevant, credible information from other sources. As long as you’re fully crediting the creators, content curation can be a great way to engage your audience. However, there are a few basic rules to follow.
All content is not created equal. Make sure you’re citing high-credibility sources. For example, industry pubs and newspapers are usually trustworthy. Indie blogs or individual opinions are less reliable.
Stay on topic. Any page or site you curate into your list must be relevant to the topic.
Site original sources. If the blog references a study, cite the original study, not the blog’s interpretation of it. As in any telephone game, each time you pass the information along, it gets a little less accurate.
7. Repurpose Content
You spend a lot of time creating blogs, articles, posts, emails, brochures, and presentations, so make the most of it. You can slice and dice content in ways that make it suitable for social media, emails, videos, newsletters, brochures, sales presentations, and more.
You can also group previous content together to create new materials. A few blogs on the same topic can become a list for a new blog. Several blogs can be combined as a white paper. If you have enough content on an issue, you can create a book.
Repeat content on social media. This one is controversial. Some businesses think every social media post on their company platforms needs to feature a completely original image and message. We disagree.
All social media algorithms intentionally suppress unpaid business posts. That means that only a small percentage (as low as 1 percent) will see any given post. So, it’s not a good investment to create totally original content each time. Instead, you can repeatedly use the same content on social media. As long as you use it as a part of a rotation of a series of posts, and rotate fresh content into the mix on a regular basis, it won’t annoy your loyal social media fans.
Want to read more blogs about content? Check out these Cup O Content articles.