Creating content is some of the most challenging work you can do.
Sure, you're not spending the day with a hammer, or patrolling through a battlefield, but your subconscious is under stress.
There's a constant worry that you won't earn the engagement, the traffic, or the conversions you need. And worse, there's a chance people don't like what you're putting out.
So, you have two options: let the fear control you, or create the content your audience needs. And fortunately for you, these tips from our Inbound Marketing Team will help you with the latter.
Content Creation Tips from Professionals
Lean Labs' Inbound Marketing Team is made of professionals from around the world, all working remotely to bring massive results to our clients.
And while our team produces amazing content as a whole, each individual member has their own perspectives and opinions that add flavor to the mix. So when one author hands their work to another for review, the end result is content that attracts and engages on multiple levels.
These tips are listed in no specific order, but if you want to earn 10X results like us, try to implement them into your own copy.
1. Consider User Intent
Melissa Randall recommends considering the intent of the user and how it matches the value of the content you're creating.
If you're writing a how-to article, the reader is looking to learn something, and every aspect of the content's creation should center on that point. That means using images for examples, providing text that offers direction, and linking to additional resources to help them.
If you're creating a listicle, the content should be short and quippy, like what you'd find on Buzzfeed. You don't need a novel-length description for every item on the list. Just a few facts about why it made that list will go a long way in meeting the consumer's intent.
Whatever you're working on, if you can keep the reason the user is exploring your content in mind, you'll see greater success than if you don't, because without knowing the user's intent, every piece of content you make will flop.
2. Be Specific
Ryan Scott, our Head of Inbound at Lean Labs, believes in the power of specificity.
"If you want your content to resonate, every piece must address a specific problem the target audiences faces."
Any content that's made for the sake of producing quantity won't engage the reader as it should. A 400-word article that handles a specific problem will perform better than a 4,000-word article that meanders. If you can create a 15-second video on social media that focuses on a key issue, you're going to have better luck than by producing 20 general webinars.
Identifying the problem you want to address before creating the content will give you an edge in your work's performance, and you'll find plenty of satisfied users because of it.
3. Showcase Your Brand Values
Tyler Naples develops his content to address painful and widespread issues while showcasing the brand's unique values.
Happy-go-lucky content has its place, but if you truly want to resonate with your readers, you need to provide an answer to their most burning questions. If you can find a problem that affects a wider audience, you'll be able to engage far more users on a personal level.
Once the problem is identified, approaching the answer in your brand's unique voice is what will set you apart from the rest of the market.
4. Put Effort Into Your Titles
Melissa also recommends throwing rocks at your title. You should always allow time in your strategy for looking up different keywords and phrases that relate to your posts, so you have an idea of what else is out there.
If your "Top 10 Digital Marketing Tips" has the same feel as every other article on the SERP, you're fighting a losing battle. The content already published has an advantage with its age, current viewership, and potential for links. Your article will be playing catch up for a long while.
But, if you can find a way to tweak your title so it stands out, you'll increase the chances of it earning a higher rank. You can do this by constructing a promise that speaks to your audience, or even by adding the right adjectives to build excitement.
"To win the click, you need to be different."
5. Be Thorough With Keyword Research
Eric McCarty has created high impact content and attributes part of the success to his keyword research.
It's important to build the topic clusters you want to target and then invest time in finding the most relevant keywords to your audience's problems. Difficulty score and search volume matter, but without attacking the keywords that relate to their issues, you won't earn the engagement you could.
Additionally, If you can ensure you know where the content falls in the funnel or customer journey, then you can also offer a logical next step to continue leading the reader where you want them to go. Tying keywords to the customer journey will help you strategize and give purpose to every term you attempt to rank for.
5. Create Evergreen Content
I (Chris DuBois) appreciate the concept of evergreen content.
There's use for time-sensitive material, and depending on the nature of your brand, it could be your primary focus. If your company is attached to the news cycle, or you're banking on current events to drive traffic, you'll see engagement, but it's going to require a higher quantity of content to do it.
With evergreen content, you're providing material that's relevant, and will stay relevant for years to come. And as that content remains in the digital sphere, it's going to continue gaining traffic as it ages, providing useful material it climbs the SERP rankings.
6. Fight Perfectionism
Tyler also acknowledges that you'd need to be willing to fight the need for perfection.
"Don't be afraid to ship it. Something is better than nothing."
A lot of brands struggling to achieve meaningful organic traction focus too intently on creating the perfect piece of content. They hone in on one piece until they feel it's ready, but miss opportunities in the process. They limit their total content, hindering the buyer's journey, and reducing the chances they'll be found.
Don't be afraid of a 90% solution with some of your content. You can add as necessary, but without publishing anything, users will have nothing to engage with your brand.
7. Understand Your Imagery
Melissa is fantastic at creating visual content that entices viewers. She recommends asking yourself if your posts really need a stock photo.
Rather than adding images that only serve to break up the text, you're missing an opportunity. Instead of putting a stock image, try to find a better visual you could create or something that could increase tension or understanding within the work.
If you're doing something just for the sake of doing something, you're sacrificing a chance to engage your audience in a more meaningful way.
8. Make Your Content Actionable
Generally, people are looking for takeaways in your content. At least in my life, I've never pulled up Google unless I had a specific answer I was looking for.
In your content, providing actionable tips and takeaways increase the chances viewers will come back for more. It builds trust by showing them you understand the topic and can share that information with them.
It's a fine line between showing and telling; explaining what they should do, but expressing why it's important. Once you can nail that approach, your audience will start seeking your brand as the solution to their problem.
Creating Content That Earns Engagement
Creating your own content is always going to be intimidating. If it's not, it's because you're not creating something unique enough to turn heads. It's because you're not actually sharing profound ideas that have the potential to be the next big thing.
These tips will help you find that sweet spot in your creation process, where you can take old ideas and breathe new life into them. They'll help you build a repertoire of content that earns massive engagement and gets people wanting more.