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In order to win the content game, attract more customers, please the customers you already have, and ultimately improve your bottom line, the following rules of content use and creation make a lot of sense.
Gone are the days when you could rest on your website not being responsive. You want the content that you distribute to live on your website which is the hub of all things about your business. But, if your website is not responsive and your users cannot consume the content on multiple devices, you’re going to miss out and lose some people.
Dry or boring content happens when you don’t know your voice. Learn what your business voice is, and start trying to produce interesting content that speaks in that voice. The days of keyword-rich content to just fill the “content slots” for the search engines are over. Google’s job is to send relevant results to their customers, and your job is to deliver relevant results that your customer wants to find so that Google can send them to you.
If every bit of the content you create is promotional, people will get bored to death. People do not like being sold to and will not be excited by that type of content on a day in and day out basis. This is not to say you don’t want to promote yourself and your products - you do, but you want most of the content you distribute to be able to stand on its own enough that the reader wants to find out what you have to offer by reading your bio and clicking through to the sales page.
Again - generic, "do nothing" content is old school. Ask yourself as you produce content whether it’s useful to the reader you intend to read it, whether it solves a problem for them, and whether or not it’s about them and not you. Remember, it’s all about them, all the time.
Some of the best content answers a question that someone in your audience either may have had, or that you can assume that they have due to your study of the audience in relation to your product offerings. Providing content that doesn’t do this is just going to be lost in the shuffle and never read or cared about. That’s where you see “bounces” in your analytics.
Grammar matters. Sentence structure matters. But, not in the way you may think. If your content is too stuffy for your audience they may be left feeling like what they are reading is dry and drones on and on. Instead, find a good balance between propriety and entertainment and you’ll have it made.
While content is all about them, there has to be a point to your content that ultimate represents your business goals and objectives. If you can keep your business goals at the forefront of any new content creation and understand how and why it fits in with your objectives while also answering the needs of your audience, you’ll have it right.
You may be famous in your own right, but the truth is, people like seeing proof in the form of quotes from well-respected movers and shakers within the industry or within the topic you happen to be creating the content about.
Finally, you should know your audience well enough to know what time they are more likely to read the content, where they might be more likely to find it, and in what formats they prefer to consume it. If you follow these tips, and keep studying your audience, you’ll be successful with your content strategy.
Rich Thurman’s passion is helping small businesses realize their full potential. With twenty years of real world experience in both small and large business, Rich has worked for and with both global industry leaders and small-town family-run storefronts.
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