Everyone talks about content as a driver for marketing, social media and sales, but most people don’t know what that even means. They want to build their brand, increase their audience, and drive more sales, but they have no idea what content is, how to create it, or even how it relates to their business.
So to clarify some of the confusion, I’m going to give you the basics you need to know about content.
First, here’s what it is: Content is just information. That’s it. It’s not complicated, fancy or difficult. It also doesn’t even have to be your content. It could just be content that you find and share with your tribe. However, there’s a difference between content and good content. Good content is information that people—specifically your target audience—care about.
Here’s how to make sure that you’re sharing content your audience cares about. It should be these things:
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Relevant – The information needs to be relevant to your business. If you’re in the gardening business, then you might post an article about how to keep the bugs out of your flowerbed. You would not want to post a blog about how to knock $10 off your grocery list. That would confuse your customers because it’s not relevant to your business. Become known for one area, and stay focused in your business and content on that one area.
Current – Don’t post dated techniques or methods. Your content needs to be new and cutting edge in order to keep up with our culture, where information is available instantaneously. Staying current also sets you up as a trusted source on your topic of expertise.
Interesting – Our brains are wired for novelty—they tune out and ignore anything that seems remotely familiar. Post content that is interesting and different in order to catch—and keep—people’s attention.
Helpful – Your content should teach or help people in some way. What needs do they have that you can fill or what problems can you solve for them? If you are in the fitness business, maybe you should write a blog post titled How to Kick-Start Your Metabolism Before You Ever Get Out of Bed. (I don’t know what that is, but if you have a way, let me know!)
Relatable – Your content should be something that your audience reads and thinks, Me too. In fact, within the first five minutes of speaking, it’s my goal to get everyone in the audience to think, Me too. When you post content that your audience identifies with, they are likely to save it and, more importantly, share it. Which brings me to …
Sharable – When your content is relatable, your audience naturally wants to share it, because it represents them in some way. Make it easy on your audience and post content in a format that is easily sharable—images, blog posts or videos are the best.
People love to have things that represent them. That’s what social media is: a platform to not only connect but to represent ourselves online through our profiles. It’s the equivalent of putting a sticker on your binder when you were in middle school. Remember that? If there was a brand you liked, you’d put their sticker on your binder or water bottle or, now, the back of your car.
And if the content is also helpful, they want to share it even more, because when they post it, they become the hero among their friend group for sharing something that is relevant, current, interesting, helpful and relatable.
Great content is like any other type of influence—it’s both an art and science. Think of the content you consume and share. What did you like about it? What made you repost it? Most likely, it had one or more of the elements above. As you build your business and your brand, work on developing your content as well. When you master this skill, you’ll not only grow your audience, you’ll increase your bottom line as well.