How To Create Compelling Content That Engages Your Audience By WBR Content Developer Ivan Meakins
Do you find yourself spending hours creating and sharing content but getting little or no business in return?
It’s so frustrating when you’re posting blogs, podcasts or videos but they just don’t seem to “land”. If this is you then it’s time to take a step back and ask yourself, “How clued up is my audience?”
Finding the balance
If you are pitching your content at a level that’s too basic or too advanced your readers (or listeners) will most likely disengage. You need to curate and deliver content they will resonate and want to engage with, and that brings them at least one step closer to working with you.
All of your content needs to be created with your ideal client in mind, but that doesn’t go far enough (if you haven’t already created an ideal client avatar then see the show notes below and do that first).
You need to get inside the mind of your client and establish two things:
- What they already know
- What they don’t know
Find a new perspective
Dig deep into your client avatar and consider; where is your client on their journey? For example, the entrepreneurial community recognises the importance of a growth mindset, so if you published a book where the first two chapters laboured the point “why a growth mindset matters”, it would be too basic. Your readers are likely to roll their eyes.
On the opposite side of that if your business exists to support rookie business owners (who are fearful or underconfident) those two chapters would help them to understand and implement the basics.
Think more deeply about your ideal client and identify the knowledge gaps that you can fill.
Be the detective
- Where do your clients (and potential clients) go to source information?
- What are their go-to business books or magazines? What specifically are they learning? Who do they follow online, which webinars do they join?
- Are they part of a mastermind, if so, at what level and what is their focus?
- Which social circles do your clients and ideal clients move in?
Pay attention to the vocabulary
Once you have answered these questions, start to think about the vocabulary and phrases that are being used. How technical is it? How detailed is it? Think about how this compares to the content that you’ve been creating. If you use lots of industry-specific references or jokes you need to know that your reader (or listener) will “get them”.
When you build a detailed awareness profile of your audience and deepen your understanding of their level of awareness you will be able to create compelling content that they need, and that helps them engage (and hopefully want to invest in more of what you offer).
Now that you’ve got some great resources to help you pitch at the right level, WBR Senior Editor Kat Lewis is going to explore what you need to do to consistently come up with great ideas for content that converts.
“But, what should I talk about?” is a question we’re often asked by new clients at Write Business Results. They know their stuff inside out, they are clear on their client avatar and what their audience knows and doesn’t know (thanks for those great insights Ivan), but sometimes the pressure to consistently come up with great content can feel overwhelming.
If you find yourself staring at the flashing cursor on your screen or wishing the phone would ring so you could stop overthinking what to type then this is the blog for you.
When you know where to look you will find inspiration for great content everywhere, and it’s really easy to access.
The answer is in the question
Most questions have an answer but in this case the answer is in the “question!”. When you begin to pay attention to the questions your ideal client is asking you will have a host of ideas for new content. Questions highlight the vital gaps in their knowledge that you can fill (and think about how people search on Google; they tend to type in a question, which means that blogs and posts that include frequently asked questions (FAQ), tend to perform better).
There are three main sources to focus on:
- Questions your clients ask you in person, on email, on social media. Look for commonalities in the questions you’re been asked by new and prospective clients. What are the recurring themes? What do they struggle with? What support are they asking for? Pay attention to the social media posts that stimulate engagement, what can you learn from them? Make a list of all of these (I’ll explain how to use this information shortly).
- Seasonal questions. Are you asked specific questions at different times of the year? For example at WBR new clients often ask us for advice on whether or not to post business content over the festive period (the answer really depends on your industry, but in general a lot of people continue to consume their regular content so yes!). Think about the calendar events of the year specific to your business. What questions or topics could you cover around winter, spring, summer, or autumn?
- Questions your target audience is asking other people in your industry. It’s worth carrying out a competitor analysis every three to six months to see what people with a similar target audience to you are creating. What content is engaging their audience? What topics are they writing about? What questions are they being asked? What would your version of that be? Think about how you could take people to the next level.
When you start to explore the questions your ideal client is asking you will be able to speak directly to their needs. Social media is a goldmine for inspiration but there’s no point in creating a long list that just sits around, what do you do with it?
Turning questions into content
Think about the type of content that your audience prefers, (blog, podcast, short post on social, long post, video, poll, downloadable resource) and plan when best to share (is your ideal client an early bird, a night owl, or are they online during the working day?). Build their questions into the right type of content for them (and if the content is seasonal, put a note in next year’s calendar in plenty of time).
Repurpose your content
Look at your best performing posts and repurpose that content into a new blog, podcast, social media post, meme or newsletter. When you start to mine the questions that you and your competitors are being asked (and nurture existing content) you’ll establish a long list of ideas (and need never be stuck again!).
There is plenty for you to think about to help you consistently come up with great content that converts. If you’d like to take it one step further (but don’t have time for the full exercise I’ve shared until later) here’s a quick-fire challenge.
10 second takeaway
Write down three possible topics you could create content around, or if you’re part of the 12 day challenge share your insights and topics in the Facebook group and ask for feedback.
Writing great content is both an art and a skill, if you’d love to find out how we could support you to breathe life into your written form so you can focus on doing what you do best, book a content and brand strategy session.
PS – In tomorrow’s blog we’ll explore your tone of voice (and how to convey it in written form).