Most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches have an unfair advantage with their internet and email marketing. The advantage is that their core product, knowledge, lends itself perfectly for powerful content marketing.
However this advantage is often squandered with poorly constructed messages, uncompelling overview information, or a lack of actionable information for fear of “giving away the farm.” Below are some guidelines for making your valuable knowledge into compelling content marketing.
Make Text Scannable
Huge blocks of text turn readers off. This can be paragraphs that go on for twenty lines or more, or pages of text without section headers. In other words, text that looks like a wall. These sorts of things subtly tell readers the text is going to be hard to read.
Simply breaking text up and making it scannable would help a lot of business content. People are far more likely to read something online if it appears to be a quick read.
Three simple changes can make a huge difference:
- Break paragraphs into five lines or less
- Use section headers
- Use bullet points wherever possible
If you can get past the long dense type in many content pieces, the next obstacle you’ll run into is the copy. A lot of content marketing is, in fact, hard to read. There are long, overly-elaborate sentences peppered with acronyms and jargon that prevents anyone except seasoned experts from understanding it.
Target content so that a fourth or fifth grader can comprehend it. That’s the level of copy that people respond to best. This is not because people are stupid but rather because there is limited time to focus. This doesn’t mean the content should be dumbed down but rather simplified so that it’s easy for readers to digest.
Use images to break up the text and to magnify the points made by the words. Try to use one image on every other page/email/social media post.
Focus on the Audience
The question that should be top of mind for any content marketing is “What’s in it for them?” Your brand and product or service might be part of what’s in it for them, but even if they do decide to buy, they will still be 99% focused on what’s in it for them.
Odds are good you’ve got quite a lot of information about what your audience is interested in. You probably know which pages people like and which reports they download the most. Use that data. Make more content similar to what has worked in the past.
We are no longer involved in a simple one way broadcast. Internet marketing is interactive. Engage in a conversation. Ask your readers what they think.
Make the Content Engaging
A lot of content marketing is regurgitated information, copy and pasting from training materials, or unrefined reports. These things can all be used as inspiration but are unlikely to engage your audience without some re-thought and re-work.