Content is a powerful tool. It attracts leads, closes deals, and onboards customers. If your marketing team can deliver content that your audience wants and needs, they’ll attract the people actively looking for your product or service organically. Here, we’ll look at tips for a content creation process that feeds into an overall better content creation strategy.
Your primary objective is to drive interest in and ultimately sales of, your product or service. And you can only do that if you really understand your audience.
“90% of successful content marketers prioritize the audience’s informational needs over their sales/promotional message.” – Lisa Murton Beets, Director of Research at the Content Marketing Institute.
As a marketer, your instinct may be to use content to explain how your products and services can solve challenges for readers. But it’s more valuable to create content that immediately supports your prospect’s problem by offering useful knowledge they can use immediately.
For example, maybe you sell cakes. The trick is not to keep telling people how your cakes will make them happier for eating them. Instead, publish a step-by-step recipe for a best-selling cake, or show people how to store a celebration cake before a big event. Blogs and TikTok or Instagram reels work really well for practical content like making recipes.
Put your audience first and offer instant value, to create trust because you’re not selling to your audience – you’re helping them.
Every piece of content published has one thing in common – it will be read, watched or listened to by humans. And humans are hard-wired to respond to stories.
Hopeful and inspiring stories invite empathy and connection, and also help to make the message memorable.
“Character-driven stories with emotional content result in a better understanding of the key points and better recall….In terms of making impact, this blows the standard PowerPoint presentation to bits. I advise business people to begin every presentation with a compelling, human-scale story.” – Paul Zak, Professor of Economics, Psychology and Management
Many brands have a brand story explaining why the business founder started out. This is a great way to connect with an audience and evoke emotion by humanizing your business proposition.
The brand-value story: A powerful example comes from TOMS shoes who give away a pair of shoes for every pair sold.
The human story: Nike is a master of brand messaging through true-to-life brand story campaigns.
The About Us story: Notion show us how to deliver a simple brand story on its About Us page.
“Content marketing generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs 62% less.” – Content Marketing Institute
On average B2B businesses spend 20-30% of their overall marketing budget on content marketing, with 22% of respondents in a Content Marketing Institute survey spending 50% or more of their marketing budget on content marketing.
“83% of marketers believe it’s more effective to create higher quality content less often.” – State of Inbound Marketing Trends 2022, Hubspot
Hubspot surveyed 1,600+ global B2B + B2C marketers across various industries for a retrospective annual report.
If the majority of marketers see more leads from content marketing than traditional outbound methods, and there’s more focus on raising the quality of content over the output, we can be sure that marketers are doubling down on content planning, research and presentation.
The Hubspot survey also finds that interactive content was perceived as the biggest content marketing trend to watch in 2022.
Interactivity works as part of a content cycle and can inform future content experiences. Audiences enjoy content they can interact with, and this activity is logged as a data point on the platform serving the content – giving insights into user behavior.
Better platforms provide analytics such as dwell time, geographic location, shares, and UTM tags to show where your audience came from. You can also identify exactly who has read the content and how many times, which means your team can pick out the warmest leads and serve them exactly the right content for the next stage of their journey.
This depth of first-party data can be used to:
The awareness you gain helps you improve the quality and relevance of your content creation process and direct your resources and budget more efficiently.
“Stop creating content that no one consumes. In 2023, content should meet the needs of the customer and add value to their experience. Brands are creating so much content today that users just don’t have time for subpar stuff. They will only interact with your content if they think it’s actually helpful. “– Adobe Experience Cloud Blog
Adobe predicts personalization as a hot content marketing tip for 2023. The SaaS giant also places highly researched content, and content that offers a better user experience as top trends this year.
“78% CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing and 80% believe that custom content should be central to marketing.” – Demand Metric
Your favorite commercial websites personalize your browsing experience by basing what you’re shown first on content you previously interacted with. In the same way, it’s now possible to serve content to suit people’s recent behavior – and this type of content creation marketing serves you warm, highly engaged leads.
71% of B2B marketers say content marketing has become more important to their organization in the last year (B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: Insights for 2023 – Content Marketing Institute).
Measurement is core to creating valuable content. You need to measure your content to see what is working and to support your strategy going forward.
“Measuring your content’s performance is key. Every time you create content, there’s an associated cost. You need to know how effective your content is and where to your direct budget.” – Jenny Howe, Head of Marketing Operations at Turtl.
The best content creators learn from everything they publish by using data to make improve strategy and report on content marketing ROI. Use your data wisely and implement what you learn from it and, going forward, you’ll see the performance of your content improve.
If you’d like to learn more about effective content creation, we’ve detailed advice covering user journeys, ICPs, partnerships, and more. Download our in-depth guide, Ten Rules to Elevate Your Content.
A round up of insights, trends, and tips on the world of content marketing