You have a website, a blog, and all of the social media platforms — and you have a limited amount of time and manpower to create content for those platforms every week.
So how can you use your time wisely to create content that makes an impact? The answer in < 280 characters: Add value.
How to Create Valuable Content for Your Audience
When I see a piece of content that inspires or helps me, I stick it in a digital Content Inspo folder to refer to when I need a little extra spark of creativity. Here are four tips for creating content that belongs in a Content Inspo folder.
1. Stop talking about yourself. Imagine you’re on a first date. Dinner is fantastic and you’re having a great hair day, but your potential flame spends the entire time talking about themself without so much as a pause to ask you a question. After 45 minutes of patiently waiting for potential flame to demonstrate interest in you, you make your way to the “bathroom” never to return again.
Don’t be someone’s worst date story.
2. “Relentlessly, unremittingly, obstinately focus on the reader.” That’s the advice professional writer and marketing expert Ann Handley gives when it comes to creating content.
Think about your reader. What do they need to know? What problems are they facing? What questions do they have? When you consistently work through the answers to these questions and figure out what your readers need, you develop what Handley calls “pathological empathy.”
Develop pathological empathy and use it to create content that serves your reader. Then speak to them directly by using customer-centric language.
Company-centric: We are the leading website search tool. We use search, data, feedback and alerts to improve user experiences and websites.
Customer-centric: Sitka Insights search was born out of working with people just like you to help solve problems you face every day such as unreliable search results and outdated site content.
3. Know your platform. This is second only to know your audience.
Do you know anyone who has published a book on Twitter? No, because Twitter wasn’t made for stories and ideas that require chapters and a printing press. Twitter is made for simple sentences and GIFs (Aaall the GIFs, please!). Instagram and Pinterest are mostly for visuals. Blogs are for longer-form ideas that can be broken down into lists or paragraphs separated by scannable subtitles.
Knowing your platform will help you create content that keeps your audience engaged.
4. Keep it simple. Your customers are busy people who see at least 10,000 marketing messages every single day. Simplicity is the best way to stand out in a sea of fuzzy content. Simple content is not simplistic. Rather, it honors the reader’s time and energy by being clear and concise.
Here are some examples of how to simplify wordy-phrases:
When it comes to = When
Despite the fact that = Although, Though
In order to = To
Utilize = Use
Care, Create, Repeat
Repeat after me: I respect my writing and I respect my reader.
Now feel free to jot that on a sticky note and tape it to your wall. Or get it tattooed on your forehead — whatever reminds you that your role as a content creator is helper, problem-solver, supporter.
You have valuable information to share. Share it simply. Share it in the right place. And share it in a way that shows how much you care about your customers.
Now, go get to creating some magic. ✨