Creating only high value content is the goal of content marketing. Imagine if every single thing you created was commented on, liked, shared, Tweeted, retweeted, curated, copied and even stolen it was so good!

That may be a somewhat unrealistic expectation, but by practicing the following five strategies you can be assured that your content will be of high value to your target audience/s and accelerate your content marketing plan.

1. Set Clear Goals

If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there? You need a definitive purpose for your content. What do you want to accomplish: drive traffic, improve awareness, expand your digital finger print, increase sales—exactly why are you creating content?

By setting your goals right from the start, you can then focus on building your content in a way that will increase the chances of meeting those objectives. Your content should always align with your business goals, so you have to start with goals.

“Content marketing is a meaningless exercise without business goals. – Sonia Simone, Copyblogger

2. Know Your Target Audience/s

Some things just can’t be said enough. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) ends with this warming sentiment, “Although it’s been said many times, many ways…Merry Christmas to you!”

“Know your target audience” has undoubtedly been said as many times and in as many ways as “Merry Christmas,” and no matter how you say it, it’s still true—Know Your Target Audience. You need to intimately know who you are talking to, how and where they want to consume content, and what they want to see and hear. Creating buyer personas for each target audience gives in-depth knowledge to help facilitate content creation so that it makes a connection with the intended recipients.

Lee Traupel of Linked Media Group confirms the importance of knowing your audiences and creating targeted-value content: “Perceived value from the person that’s engaging with the content is really critical.” This means that high value content should actually give something to the user that they want. Information, solution to a problem, entertainment, guidance, motivation—always provide something the user can take away from the experience to make their life better.

“Focus on the audience, the prospective customer. If you truly take care of your audience, they will eventually take care of you. – Demian Farnworth, the

3. Write to Ignite Emotion

Wharton School of Business researchers determined that six types of emotions — awe, anger, surprise, anxiety/fear, joy, and lust — tend to attract high attention and go viral. Pick an emotion to target, and then insert it into your content creation process. If you know your product and your user, you may find that one emotion makes a natural fit. From here, it’s a matter of shaping your message to the content medium.

Coca Cola, as part of its Small World Machines campaign, has created amazing content in video form, with touchscreen-enabled booths to bring together people from different cultures who had never met. Watch this video where Indians and Pakistanis were able to interact for the first time (and even dance). You’ll see how a whole range of emotions united the onlookers and the participants as everyone got caught up in the excitement, and shared the experience on the spot via their phones. Awe, surprise, joy and laughter completely overtook the event.

“You only remember the ones at the high end of the spectrum, the ones that made you feel something.” Barry Feldman

4. Create High Quality Content

Whatever type of content you create—text, image, video, infographic, white paper, podcast—make it the best it can be. Don’t cut corners and do a poor presentation. If you don’t have the in-house capabilities to create variable types of content, find an artist, videographer or designer who can help bring your content to life.

Considerations of good presentation:

  • Accuracy of information is crucial to building trust and credibility
  • Design needs to fit the medium, e.g., images viewable on SmartPhones
  • Bad grammar, incorrect punctuation or misspellings will discredit your content
  • Audio should be well-recorded and clearly understandable
  • Video and images should be sharp and crisp
  • Links and interactive buttons should work
  • Make your content easily sharable for your users with social media icons

As Barry Feldman of Feldman Creative says, “You either get remembered or you get forgotten and there’s nothing in between.” You’ve worked hard to get the right message for the right audience, now give them something memorable!

“Every page of content you’ve created could be the first interaction with your web site. Think of every page as a home page.” – Jay Baer

5. Promote and Engage Your Content

Having one username helps you achieve brand consistency so that you’re instantly recognizable across all your social media channels. One username makes it easy for both users and search engines to find you anywhere online: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest…wherever your audiences are you need to be there and be highly visible.

Since your website is your “home base,” everything you publish/broadcast should point back to your site. Have clear “call to action buttons” to like, share, follow us, download information, subscribe, purchase, comment, etc. Easy navigation and working links are imperative for maximum engagement. Slow navigation or broken links will stop a user in their tracks and they’ll go somewhere else for the information they want.

Actively promote your content across your network. Ideally, your audience is sharing your content as well, but you should do such things as Tweet about your blog, link to your Facebook and LinkedIn company pages from your website, and email your constituents about any YouTube or SlideShare posts. Consistently publishing and promoting fresh content will place your story top of mind with your target audience and keep the dialog going.

An important part of that dialog is being responsive to any customer engagement. Have a system in place whereby comments and questions are addressed in a timely manner, including any negative input. Be prepared to turn around any negatives with good customer service, making every customer engagement a positive one because the whole world is watching online and you don’t want to go viral as a heartless bad guy.

“The point of social media marketing is that unless you market your own channel, your content is going to have very limited success. – Nate Riggs

Truly high value content will fulfill the needs of your users as well as contribute to meeting your business goals by establishing you as a trusted, reliable brand. Focus content creation on addressing and meeting the needs of your target audiences, and then promote, promote, promote your excellent content.

Join the Conversation:

  • What is your greatest challenge in writing high quality, valuable content?
  • Have you been successful with instilling an emotional component into your content creation?
  • What can you do differently to more actively promote your content and expand your digital finger print?

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