Why Creating Great Content Is So Hard (And How To Make It Easy)
LAST UPDATED: TOPIC: Content Marketing
Although the internet is awash with content marketing services, good ideas aren’t easy to come by. Even professional writers struggle from time to time to produce great content.
Here are some reasons why great content is so hard to find:
- Incorrect focus: Many companies make the mistake of using content as a means of selling their business or product instead of providing the reader with valuable information. Content should not be used in this way, that’s why advertising exists. Focus instead on using content for the readers’ benefit, not for self-promotion. The key is to educate first and sell second. Building trust will generate greater value in the long run.
- Target audience: Companies often invest time and effort into creating content but neglect to find out who their audience is. No matter how amazing it is, such content will have all the impact of a damp squib if it doesn’t find the right audience.
- Content is not useful: It’s surprising how many companies produce content that has no purpose. A self-promotional article crammed with links to products offers the reader nothing and they will quickly scroll on. Good content offers value to readers, whether that’s a ‘how to’ article, an entertaining visual piece or an article that broadens their horizons.
- Poor organisation: Good content isn’t produced in a day. It requires planning and hard graft – which is why many companies are reluctant to go there. Unfortunately, there are no short cuts.
How To Improve Content
Content doesn’t need to be complicated, but it needs to give readers what they want.
- Find the audience: Your audience is crucial and shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead of waiting until the content has been published, consider who its target audience might be from the outset. Audience should play a role in how the content is produced, what types of information it will contain and what its focus is. Knowing your audience is the key to successful content.
- Topic choice: Once you’ve identified your audience, you can begin to focus on topics you’d like to cover. It’s easier to produce content that readers crave when you know who they are. Imagine readers never tiring of your content, always having time to read it, and constantly wanting more!
- Mix it up: Readers love a variety of topics. Include content that is helpful (teach readers how to do something ‘life hacks’), humorous (because everyone likes a good laugh), controversial (generate debate around your content), and informative (answer readers’ questions or interview a specialist or an online influencer to offer insight into that industry). Don’t restrict yourself to text either; post different forms of content such as infographics, reports, and illustrations, which will increase your chances of keeping the reader interested to the end of the piece.
- Be the reader: To produce great content, get inside the reader’s head. Look at what they want to read, and what problems or questions they might have. Discovering what interests your audience is easier than you think. Check out the comments section on previously published work across news publications, blogs and social media. People love to share their opinions.
Great content is not something that can be mastered in a day, a week, or even a month. It’s difficult but not impossible. When readers begin to crave content from you, you know you’ve done your job well. Until you reach that point, keep creating and experimenting. You’ll get there eventually!
– This post was written by Emma Vince – former Digital PR Lead at Tinderpoint.