With apologies to the literary aficionados and artistic purists out there, when it comes to creating content, businesses aren't looking to win creativity awards: they're looking to generate sales.
Of course, this doesn't mean that all content should be overtly sales driven, like one of those late-night infomercials where you can amazingly buy not one, but two Ronco Veggematics (but wait — there's more!). On the contrary, most content doesn't have a "buy now" call to action. Instead, it aims to convey useful information, build relationships, earn credibility and trust, and ultimately onboard new customers — while keeping existing customers on the roster.
At least, this is the best case scenario. Unfortunately, many businesses are experiencing the worst case scenario: their content simply isn't working. That is, it's not an asset that populates the sales pipeline with qualified leads, it doesn't help shorten the sales cycle, and it doesn't deliver ROI.
The problem here is typically not a matter of investment or effort — since many businesses with under or non-performing content are ticking both of those boxes. Rather, it's a lack of engagement. That's the bad news.
The good news, is that filling this gap is straightforward, and doesn't require a PhD in Online Marketology. It simply requires knowing about the 4 R's that characterize engaging — and therefore profitable — content: relevant, relatable, readable, and robust.
Relevant content addresses the needs, goals, aspirations, concerns and/or pain points of target audiences. It is not "content for the sake of content." Instead, it answers the essential question that customers ask at all times: WIIFM? ("What's in it for me?").
How to make your content more relevant:
Relatable content is content that authentically connects with target audiences. The content can be formal, casual, solemn, funny, etc. The context and medium determine these variables. For example, an article on the dangers of obesity will obviously have a serious, no-nonsense tone. On the other end of the spectrum, an infographic for first-time cat owners could be amusing and playful (especially since, as we all know, one cannot actually own a cat — it is simply enough to have a cat tolerate one's presence). What matters most is that target audiences can relate to the content, and feel a personal connection to it.
How to make your content more relatable:
Virtually anyone can walk into an orchestra pit, grab an instrument, and start making (harrowing) noises. But it takes a trained musician to create beautiful music.
In a similar sense, virtually anyone can put words together — but this doesn't make content readable. That only happens when target audiences, ironically, don't even feel as though they're reading anything. They're simply immersed and engaged in the experience. That "magic" is readability!
How to make your content more readable:
Last but certainly not least: content has to be robust. No, this doesn't mean that it must be thousands of words long and suitable to exam study. Most infographics are interesting and informative, but they aren't comprehensive (and that's a good thing). The point is that target audiences have to deem content as substantial and robust. Otherwise, they'll label it as fluff.
How to make your content more robust:
The Bottom Line
Strategies and tactics for winning over the hearts, minds, patronage and loyalty of customers has changed a great deal in recent years — largely because of the web, but also because of shifts in demographics and culture.
But what hasn't changed — and will never change — is that for content to function as a profitable business asset, at its most fundamental level it must be engaging by capturing and reflecting the 4 R's: relevant, relatable, readable and robust!
To learn more about making sure that your content works for your business — instead of for your competition — contact the Noble Webworks team today. Your consultation with us is free.