Are you creating content but not seeing the results you expected? Are you wondering if your content is earning results at all? Are you just starting to build a new content marketing strategy?
If your answer to any of those questions is yes, you’re probably wondering how to create content that your customers won’t just read but will really love.
It’s a great question, and one that (in my opinion) marketers don’t ask enough. Instead of just churning out content to check a box or climb the Google rankings, is it possible to create content that your customers actually love to read? That they’ll even save and share?
We’ve got good news: yes, it is possible.
To do it, you need a few things:
- Well-defined goals
- A deep understanding of your audience
- Alignment with your buyer journey
- Visuals and high shareability
- A process for monitoring performance results
- A plan for using insights to improve your content
In this article, we’re going to run through all of the above so that when you finish reading, you know exactly how to create content that keeps your customers coming back for more.
- Tools like the SMART goal framework and buyer personas can help companies set goals and understand their target audience.
- Keyword research and SEO optimization is essential to create content that’s relevant to your customers.
- Aligning content to the buyer journey ensures customers receive the right content at the right time.
- Visual content gets exponentially more engagement than text-only content.
- There are easy ways, such as social sharing buttons, to make your content more shareable.
- Brands should frequently evaluate which current content is most successful in order to build more content their customers will love.
Why you need great content
The truth is this: your customers are turning to search engines for information about your brand before they’re coming to you directly. 81% of consumers today say their brand research starts online, and 93% of all online experiences begin with search. Your content is often the first touchpoint your customers will have with your brand.
And if they don’t love it? Well, they’ll likely look elsewhere.
The digital marketing landscape is also crowded. Content creation alone is not enough to get noticed or to attract new customers. Your content needs to be well-written, well-designed, high-value, and targeted to the right audience. It needs to address the specific needs of your ideal customers.
In other words: you need to know how to create content your audience loves. In the next section, we’re going to walk through the specific steps you should take to start doing just that right away.
How to create content your customers will love
Know your goals
You probably know what your overall business goals are, and that’s a great start. But do you know what you’re trying to achieve with your content? The thing is content goals are different for every company. There are some common goals, sure — higher Google rankings and more organic traffic, for example, should always be on your list.
But other goals may be more important to some companies than others. Lead generation, for example, is a top priority for most B2B companies. For a B2C ecommerce company, driving direct sales through your website is probably at the top of your list. For a newer startup, brand awareness may be the most important goal.
The key is to know what’s most important to your company so that your content aligns with those goals specifically. To set detailed goals that keep you accountable and drive results, you can use the SMART goals framework.
Define your target audience
Who are you creating content for? If you don’t know the answer to this question, most of your content will be like a shot in the dark. You won’t really know whether it’s relevant or not. There are several tried-and-true frameworks you can use to define who your target customer and audience is. The one you’ve probably heard of — and one of the most effective — is personas.
Customer or buyer personas give you insight into the needs, motivations, and goals of your target customer. When they’re done correctly, they can be extremely useful for developing content that is hyper-relevant and valuable to your audience, ultimately increasing your leads and sales.
Perform keyword research
Do you feel pretty confident that you know what your customers are searching for? If so, you’re not alone — this is a trap that many brands fall right into. No matter how well you know your customers, you can’t be sure about how their needs and behaviors translate into search terms without doing actual keyword research.
Trust me, you’ll be surprised at what you find when you begin researching keywords relevant to your industry, company, and customer. While you’ll probably find words and phrases you knew would be there, you’ll also find surprises that you never would have thought of otherwise. Surprises that create opportunities to develop new content your customers will love.
Fortunately, keyword research is easier than ever. I recommend checking out the free tools from Ahrefs and SEMRush to find out what you’re already ranking for and discover new keywords you can build into your strategy.
Here’s a quick demo of SEMRush’s keyword research tool to give you an idea of how it works:
Align content with the buyer journey
A big part of developing a strong content marketing strategy is understanding your buyer journey. And when it comes to understanding how to create content your customers love, this alignment is really important.
Here’s why: potential customers at each stage of the buyer journey are looking for different types of information. If you deliver the wrong information, you risk leaving them frustrated or, even worse, turning to other brands to find the solution they need.
Aligning your content with your buyer journey ensures that the right information gets to the right audience at the right time. Not only does this make users more likely to love your content, it makes them more likely to take the next step toward becoming a paying customer!
Here’s a great example of detailed content and buyer journey alignment:
Make it visual
Visual content includes images, videos, infographics and anything else that adds a visual component to your content. It increases content engagement across every channel, and it is pretty much an essential if you want to create content your customers will love.
Here’s what we mean:
- Blog articles with images get 94% more views than those without them
- Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than text-only posts
- This year, the average person is predicted to spend 100 minutes daily watching video content
Visual content also just plays into the way our human brains work. A whopping 90% of the information transmitted to our brains is visual.
Adding visuals to your content doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, some projects like longer infographics may require a design team. But for the most part, you can source images and videos from reputable sources online or create your own using free tools like Canva or your iPhone camera!
Make it shareable
People love to share content. Conversations are happening online about every topic and industry in the world, and content is a tool people use to start the discussion or contribute to it. People also love to share engaging content for fun. Buzzfeed is a prime example of how creating fun, casual, shareable content can drive traffic and brand awareness. Their listicle articles are a staple of internet culture.
You can encourage the sharing of your content first by covering the topics they care about (but you know this already) and then by making it convenient for them to share. Two simple ways to do the latter are with social sharing buttons on your blog posts and by sharing your blog articles on your own social media pages.
Build on what’s working
Quick tip: you don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel to find new ways to create content your customers will love. Instead, monitor your success using Google Analytics, the analytics dashboard on your CMS, or your own data-driven process for measuring content performance to determine what your customers are enjoying most.
Once you know, find ways to keep creating that kind of content! If they’re loving your infographics, more infographics it is. If there is a certain topic or blog author your customers are responding to, it’s time to create more content around that topic or from that person.
This process can also work the opposite way. By monitoring your performance and frequently evaluating your content metrics, you can determine what’s working and what’s not working. Then, you can make the right adjustments in real-time to keep your content strategy fresh and effective.
Boost your customer engagement with great content
Creating content your customers love takes time and experience. The team of writers and SEO experts at Marketing Insider Group can deliver you customized, SEO-driven content every single week that’s sure to deliver results.