My title is meant to be tongue-in cheek because anyone who has heard the “rules” for producing online content has probably, at least briefly, scratched their head and thought, “Huh?”
We’re told: Your content has to be compelling. It must be remarkable. Make it sizzle. Make it buzz-worthy. Make it EPIC! Make it influential. Make it go viral! Oh, my!!!
No pressure, eh? It’s enough to make a content creator freeze in place. How the heck do you do that? What does it REALLY mean to be remarkable? Who defines what is compelling? Plus, even if you knew the secret, could you produce content like that consistently, day after day?
Give yourself a break. Just create content that is “useful” and presented in a way that enlightens and entertains YOUR audience. That’s it!
If you know your niche and know your customers, you have the raw materials for an endless stream of relevant content. Figure out what your target audience cares about and wants to read, hear, see and share about your field. If you don’t know, ask them in a survey or poll or email or social media appeal. Then, give it to them.
IDENTIFY YOUR CONTENT
Here’s an exercise to create a long list of topics. Write down on paper or on your computer the questions your customers ask you all the time. You could probably list 100 of them. I’m sure you’ll have at least 10.
Now think about what your customers fail to ask. What don’t they ask that would help them be better consumers of what you offer? Peel back the curtain with useful nuggets and factoids about your industry, the “should knows.” Another 10 items or more, right?
Think about the pain points and fears your clients express. What keeps them up at night that your expertise, product or service can help with? Toss in some offbeat, just for fun topics you know will delight them.
Keep in mind, if you don’t want to read it or watch it, your audience won’t either. How long is your list now?
Next, map out what kinds of content you will create to share this information wrapped up with your expertise, ideas, suggestions, tools, resources and a call-to-action. Once you know what you want to express, you can slice and dice the same material in multiple formats.
Examples would be different versions of the same information presented clearly and concisely in a blog, articles, emails, social media posts, white papers, case studies, infographics, photographs, slide shows, podcasts, videos, live hangouts.
Plug your plans into a content calendar and start producing. (There’s also the little matter of strategically distributing or syndicating your content. Great content is useless unless you pull in a growing crowd to consume it, but that’s a post for another day.)
Overtime, this wealth of relevant, interesting content could grow into your own digital media empire. You could compile, re-purpose and “publish” the materials in Kindle books, digital magazines, Web TV and Internet radio shows, online courses, membership sites…and so it goes.
LOOK WHO’S TALKING?
By the way, your content does not have to be all you, all the time. One voice can get boring. Tap into the wisdom outside yourself to enrich your content.
Reach out to others in your field and related fields to contribute content and collaborate on producing content together. Be sure their contributions fall into the“useful and fun” content parameters you’ve identified that serve YOUR audience.
DEVELOP YOUR CONTENT
Each item on the list you wrote could potentially be broken down into 5 or more hooks and angles. Keep your audience up-to-date on changes in your field. Talk about how new developments came about and show them how to capitalize on them. Trace a topic’s history or ask guest experts to look at it from a variety of perspectives. Be a contrarian about an issue in the news or express controversial opinions on a topic, if that’s your style.
Elicit thought-provoking insights in discussions with your guest contributors and encourage your audience – viewers, readers, listeners – to ask questions and share their views. (Getting audience members to make a remark = remarkable!)
Don’t over-think your content creation. Step back and breathe. Have fun!
There’s no one standard for producing remarkable, compelling, sizzling, epic or whatever content. It’s in the eye of the beholder! Just aim for readable, useful, quality content and serve it up consistently.
Not everyone will LOVE your content and that’s okay. Deliver value that suits your target audience. When you find their sweet spot, your content is sure to be compelling.
Let’s talk! Book a clarity call here. I’d love to help you get more from your content.