Last week I wrote about quality aspects such as being clear about who is behind the message and making sure that the content corresponds to its promotional ads. In this post, the focus is on the quality of the content itself. Anyone can buy traffic to a landing page, but if the content is poor, users will leave quickly and for good.
Here are the top 5 rules that - based on our experience - will help you create content that wins customers.
1. APPLY AN EXTERNAL PERSPECTIVE
Too many companies only talk about themselves. Unfortunately, very few people are super-keen to listen to that. To catch people’s interest you must put yourself in their position and tell stories that match their interest.
The best way to align your content production with your audience’s interest is to create personas. Who are these people you are writing for? Demographics, needs, interests motivations, frustrations, etc. Personas should be based on in-depth interviews with real people who belong to the target groups you want to address.
2. MAKE PEOPLE CRY
Or laugh, or feel sympathy, or feel anything else that can be useful to you. Evoking emotions is the safest way to grab and hold people’s attention, but it is even more important than that. Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltman says 95% of purchasing decisions are subconscious, and like it or not, but our subconscious mind is more busy processing emotions than comparing competing brands’ price points or other hard facts. So if you want people to remember your product or brand, your content must make them impassioned.
3. ANSWER THE QUESTIONS
Throughout your customer’s buyer journey, many questions will arise, especially if your product calls for high involvement and intellectual consideration (read more about high and low involvement products here). You can supercharge your content by creating narratives that provide people with answers, without selling your own product too obviously. This turns you into an expert, and consumers like to buy stuff from people who know what they are talking about.
Example: You are an insurance company that wants to increase its market share in the family car segment. Why not publish a story about “What to look for when buying a family car”? Because that is the question a family car buyer is likely to google when he or she starts the buying process. If your guide is valuable, the reader will be one step closer to also buying your insurance.
4. CUT THE FAT
Remove anything in your text or video that is unnecessary. A good friend recently said: “People today are stressed, terrified and exhausted. You will lose their attention faster than you can say value add”. Hence, there is not much point in writing long, exhaustive articles, or starting your videos with a vignette.
Some content marketing gurus argue that long blog posts (+1,000 words) get more shares. Others say the optimal blog post has 500 words. Such hypotheses are very technocratic. From a user perspective, it makes more sense to customize the length according to how much much there is to say. As long as you do not waste people’s time.
5. KEEP IT SPOTLESS
If you have done everything above right, it would be a shame to ruin the experience by missing out on small, yet important, quality markers such as spelling, grammar, and readability. It is hard to trust an “expert” who does not even care if her knowledge is presented correctly or not.
For more on readability, please see this post:
Strossle has helped thousands of advertisers buy quality traffic to quality content. Contact your local Strossle representative to learn how you can get more engaged users.