No matter what corner of the internet we visit, we see content.
Content is everywhere.
And there is no way to truly engage an audience and embark on an internet marketing campaign without it.
Content is king.
Let’s face it.
We live in the information age.
This means information is currency. And content IS information!
The need to provide information via good content has completely changed the face of marketing and the way we think about our online presence.
Nothing else matters (marketing, social media…etc.) without great content.
Just think about why people go online. Most of the time they are looking for information.
They are actively searching for quality content. And there is SO MUCH content out there! So much information!
Anyone who wants to stand out and get noticed has to break through the noise and give people exactly what they’re looking for. The information has to be delivered in an appealing package. But it can be difficult to know where to start.
There are so many methods through which to deliver content. Knowing which to use and how to ensure people receive and read it can seem overwhelming.
However, creating great content is NOT as difficult as it might appear.
At Lurn, we have been delivering quality content for many years. Through this, we’ve learned the best ways to do it. And now we are going to share those methods.
1. Answer the Big 3 Questions
People are bombarded with information all day every day.
They don’t get a break from it unless they completely unplug. And unplugging isn’t an option for most people. In order to stand out and get noticed in the midst of this information overload, it is critical to make the content relevant to the audience.
To do this, three critical questions must be answered:
- Why should I care? People won’t bother with information unless they see a good reason to—unless they are shown why it is important.
- What do I need to know? People don’t want fluff. They want detailed information that tells them exactly what they need to know. Nothing more, nothing less.
- How do I put this into action? People want to know how to put this information into action. How can they use it to make a difference in their life?
Start answering these three questions right at the beginning of the content—right in the heading and introduction. This will hook people and pull them in because they will see the value in it.
2. Be Consistent
Consistency is a great credibility builder!
In this chaotic world, people like consistency whenever they can get it. They want to be able to depend on things to go in a predictable way. This is why any content that is published must be done so consistently.
This means a consistent niche, consistent voice, consistent method of delivery, and consistent timing. This last one is very important.
It’s important to release new content on a regular basis.
This helps build a following. When people know to expect a blog post to come out every Sunday, they will count on that. And they will be looking for it.
This consistency also helps with SEO.
The more regularly content is published, the more readily it will be picked up by search engines. But ultimately, the best reason to be consistent is that consistency builds trust.
People know they can trust the person behind the content and this builds a brand. It builds a community around the content.
And nothing is more important than building a relationship with the consumer.
3. Stop Being a Perfectionist
Perfection isn’t necessary for creating great content. The important thing is to get the content out there.
Make it available to the masses—NOW!
Yes, content has to be of high quality. But it doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t need to look like Shakespeare wrote it.
The key is to find a balance —high enough quality that people feel it is valuable, but not so time-consuming that it takes a month to write one piece of content.
Build the habit of taking action. Get writing. Get creating. Get that content out there!
After all, it doesn’t matter how perfect it is if no one ever sees it.
4. Be Conversational
Content should be written in a conversational manner.
If the content is stiff and formal, it won’t draw people in. Content written that way is hard to follow. It makes it difficult to hold people’s attention.
No one wants to read a boring essay.
Instead, deliver content in a casual way. Like talking to a friend. People are far more likely to respond well to information delivered by a friend than information delivered by a stuffy authority figure.
And it is absolutely critical that the content catches people’s attention!
This starts with the very first words that are written. It starts with the title or headline. Say something that will make people stop and think. Make it controversial or ask them a question. Go against the grain. People will turn a blind eye to the same old, same old.
They don’t have time for that. They’ve seen it before.
But if people are curious enough, shocked enough, intrigued enough, they will stay with the content until the end.
They will engage with it. They will see the value in it.
5. Be Unique
Cookie cutter personas, opinions, and content will fail—miserably.
It is so important to STAND OUT, to be different from the rest of the content out there. On a beach, all the sand looks the same. It’s the grain of sand that is a unique color, size, and shape that stands out and gets noticed.
Be unique. Have a unique angle on a topic, a unique tone of voice, a unique style.
This uniqueness will develop over time, but start developing it right from day one. Create an identity people will know and admire. This will result in a unique brand that people will love and be loyal to.
6. Be Authentic
This goes hand in hand with being unique.
Be authentic. Be real. Be transparent.
You don’t have to pretend to be the world’s biggest expert if you’re not. As long as you can provide value and help people, that’s what counts. You don’t have to try to be a serious academic type if you’re not.
If you think about it, most successful people aren’t serious academic types at all!
They’re just genuinely themselves! Being authentic will get more people to relate to you. When more people relate to you, you start connecting and building relationships. And this leads to avid followers and loyal customers.
7. See What's Viral
Create content people are actually looking for.
How do you know what people are looking for? Just look at the content that has gone viral. This is what people really want. Check out sites like BuzzSumo to get ideas. Look at what’s trending on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Content that is viral is what people are really interested in. Take advantage of that! Ride the wave of viral content.
But don’t COPY the content.
The key is to find the content, then make it unique. Own it. Leverage relevant viral content and put an original spin on it. This will make it stand out and get noticed.
8. Use Copywriting Strategies
Being a good copywriter is critical to creating exceptional content.
Copywriting is actually the basis of both creating great content and selling anything online. Great content must be engaging and enticing. And this is achieved through using the principles of copywriting. But remember, this isn’t about perfection.
It’s about hooking people’s attention with a great headline. It’s about telling them a story that will allow them to relate and feel a connection. It’s about having a flow to the content that carries them through it in a logical, yet engaging way.
9. Have Calls to Action
Even though content is designed to deliver information, it should still get people to take action. Calls-to-action are important in any piece of content. Does this mean asking people to purchase a course for $500?
Start small. Get people to make micro-commitments. This could be as simple as putting a newsletter sign-up form at the end of an article.
When people make micro-commitments, each of these actions builds momentum. One commitment leads to the next, which leads to the next and so on. Each commitment can be slightly greater than the one before it.
As they make these micro-commitments, they begin to build trust.
And this makes them ready for larger purchases down the road.
10. Give Away the Best Stuff
People love getting things for FREE.
The key is to give things away that are so valuable that people say to themselves, “If this is what I’m getting for free, what kind of amazingness do I get if I pay?” Of course, all of the content is free.
Just be sure to put out free content that is better than most people’s paid content. This will really impress the audience and keep them coming back. It will earn their loyalty and trust. Just don’t get greedy.
Ultimately, we all want to earn money. But trying to soak it out of people for every little thing you produce will only backfire.
Get people to trust and gain their loyalty with the free content and they will become paying customers later on.
11. Mix Up Different Types Of Content
Switch things up! The same kind of content all the time will get boring.
And when people get bored, they leave. There are so many different kinds of content that can be created and shared.
Written content can come in many forms, such as:
Audio content is a great way to get people onboard and interested. This could come in the form of audiobooks, guided meditations, or podcasts. Podcasts are particularly hot right now.
Examples of content that can be delivered via podcast include:
Video content is used a lot here at Lurn. It can be highly effective and can include content such as:
- Product demonstrations
- Interviews with employees and customers
- Presentations, workshops, and seminars
- Face-to-camera videos discussing various topics
The key is to experiment and find out what works best, what the audience responds to. Just keep things varied. This way, the audience will enjoy different ways of learning the information that is shared.
It will keep them engaged and coming back for more.
12. Make the Content Easy and Desirable to Share on Social Media
Keep the content simple and make it shareable!
Content should be easy to share on social media because that’s where people spend a huge chunk of their time. It is critical to ask this key question, “Would someone want to share this content with all of their friends?”
Sharable social media content can come in the form of:
- Tweetable quotes
- Video introductions or product reviews
- Case studies
- Top 10 lists
- Slideshow presentations
To help make this content shareable, it has to be appealing and easy to share. This can be accomplished by doing the following:
- Have easy sharing buttons
- Make it visually appealing so it catches the eye
- Ensure it is valuable and practical
- Affirm people’s beliefs
- Offer rewards for sharing
- Allows people to gain social credibility by sharing
- Make it intriguing or shocking
- Gets people involved in some way (make them feel like they’re a part of something)
The more the content goes viral, the more people will know the brand and the person behind it. And this will generate a loyal following that will be more likely to spend money down the road.
13. Presentation Matters
Content has to look good or people won’t even notice it. Remember, people are bombarded with content 24/7.
To stand out from the background noise, it is critical that the content be presented in a professional manner.
Why? Because it’s important to appear credible and trustworthy. People will engage if they feel they can trust the source of the content.
To give content a professional look, present information in appealing, easy-to-read ways. Use images, infographics, and charts. The visual appeal of these tools cannot be overstated.
They engage the audience and guide them through the content in a linear manner—which is how the human mind works.
These tools also help enhance the next point…
14. Visual Flow
Written content has to be easy to skim.
Let’s face it.
People are busy, and whenever they see written content, they will skim, rather than read the entire thing. Making the content easy to skim means using a lot of sub-headlines and bullet points.
Make sure the gist of the entire story can be understood simply from the sub-headlines.
Then, if the reader is intrigued enough and sees the value, they will go back and actually read. The diagrams and charts mentioned above will help in the overall visual flow and appeal of the content. The content truly has to look good.
It has to catch and hold the eye.
Use bold, italics, and underline.
Make certain words and sentences stand out. All of this increases the visual appeal of the page and keeps people reading.
15. Use Resources for Writing and Design
No one has to do it all alone when creating content!
There are professionals out there who can do a lot of the work. Freelance writers and designers can be hired for fair prices from sites like Upwork, Guru, iWriter, and Fiverr.
These people can do all the leg work of creating the content.
When studying other people’s content, it is easy to get audio and video transcribed. Go to Rev.com for transcription at a fair price. This tool can also be used to get thoughts out of the head and onto the screen.
When making screen-captured video content, Camtasia and Screen-Cast-O-Matic are incredible.
And for making free, high-quality audio recordings, Audacity is awesome. These are tools we use all the time here at Lurn.
The key here is to leverage the talents and skills of experts.
These people are professionals who can lighten the load and ensure the content is high-quality and ready to go.
16. Tap Into New Ways Of Reaching People
Keep your eyes out for new opportunities. They’re everywhere! And this is exactly what successful entrepreneurs do.
They’re always on the lookout.
There are so many ways of connecting with people. And new ways are popping up on a daily basis. These can be social media platforms, new strategies for existing platforms, new marketing methods or even using new technologies.
Here are some ideas:
- Answering questions on Quora
- Posting on Steemit (a new, innovative social media platform)
- Crowdfunding a project
- Creating a branded podcast
- Advertising on podcasts
- Facebook messenger marketing
- Doing Facebook Live videos
- Using influencer marketing
By tapping into new ways of reaching people, you’re obviously going to reach more people. It’s also going to result in being viewed as an innovator, building a larger audience, and providing more opportunities to connect with potential customers.
17. Go Live
Live videos are a new way to reach A LOT of people on social media. Facebook and Instagram added a live video feature in 2016. And it’s emerging as the best way to engage with people on social media.
Here’s why… It’s LIVE – It’s a raw, uncut glimpse into a brand.
Live videos get a wider reach – Facebook Live videos, for example, appear as notifications for everyone who follows your page. This is not the case with regular posts, which are typically seen by a small percentage of a page’s following.
Live videos are engaging – People can comment and ask questions while the live video is going on. This makes it far more interactive than traditional posts.
Live videos are great for building relationships.
And because they have a wide reach too, they’re a great tool for building a big, engaged audience that eventually become paying customers.
18. Build A Network
You don’t have to do it all alone.
Leveraging the help of others will greatly accelerate success.
It creates a synergistic effect. Having a network of likeminded people will give you more ideas, more accountability, more exposure and more reach with everything you do.
Here are some ways to tap into the network effect:
- Guest blogging
- Swapping social media shares
- Mastermind groups
19. Model Other People’s Success
Learn from other people!
There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Read and watch other people’s videos to get inspiration and ideas. Piggyback off other people’s content. For example, write a blog post about a great article.
But add some original thoughts to the post to make it unique.
But NEVER copy another person’s work! This cannot be stressed enough.
Copying someone else’s work is unethical and illegal. It also keeps you from learning and growing as a business person. Just allow the work of another person to inspire ideas and offer guidance and direction.
Then be original!
Content is CRUCIAL to the success of any online marketing campaign. Without great content, there is no engagement with the consumer. And writing content that delivers valuable information is a simple process.
The key is to make use of these 19 ways to consistently create awesome content.
To recap, the 19 ways are:
- Answer the Big Questions
- Be Consistent
- Stop Being a Perfectionist
- Be Conversational
- Be Unique
- See What’s Viral
- Use Copywriting Strategies
- Have Calls-To-Action
- Give Away the Best Stuff
- Mix Up Different Kinds Of Content
- Make the Content Easy and Desirable to Share on Social Media
- Presentation Matters
- Visual Flow
- Use Resources for Writing and Design
- Model Other People’s Success
Following these content strategies will produce a loyal following. It will ensure that people trust the brand. And it will help develop amazing relationships with those people.
This all paves the way for monetizing that content. Ultimately, that is what internet marketers are aiming to do—make money.