by Tony Vidler
The three key things that your content must deliver will be covered in detail just below, but let’s begin unravelling the problem with acknowledging a plain truth:
You deliver content that customers want at every client meeting that you have.
Think about that for a moment….a dozen times a week (or more hopefully) you are engaged with customers who ask questions, or need to understand technical concepts to some degree. Every week you find new ways to explain a difficult point in a manner that a client can understand easily. You are continually learning new information…whether that is about market or product performance, legal or taxation issues, how best to apply sound financial planning principles, or new tricks to get customers a better bang for their buck.
These are all areas that customers care about and want to know about. These are all areas therefore that have potential to be useful to other prospects and customers that you are looking to engage.
What is particularly useful for one customer will often be useful to many others….and that is where new content ideas generally originate. Spending time with your customers and understanding the issues they need more information about, and then being alert to the potential for others to be able to use the same information.
For your content to be truly useful and pertinent it must achieve three things. It has to be:
Relevant content is that which actually addresses issues or concerns that your market really has, as opposed to just being stuff you personally find interesting. What interests your market is not necessarily the same as what interests you.
To be meaningful it must provide an answer to a common problem, or provide some insight or illumination. The trick is always to give away enough meaningful content that you are actually delivering something of value and enhancing your position as an expert, without giving away all the goodies that generate your income. Think of it in terms of providing sample packs….test-tasting if you like….and you will be on the right track.
Finally and perhaps most importantly your content has to be engaging. You will undoubtedly read or receive many opinions about how best to write or produce content pieces, and they will range from the purist perspective of perfect grammatical presentation to those that prefer the inane text-speak which some of us find harder to decipher than hieroglyphics. The reality is your message and style of engagement needs to be pitched to your target market. Use the language and style they adopt…talk to them in their manner of speaking.
At the end of the day your content is best thought of as part of a conversation with a customer. I obviously lean towards the idea of “talking” to people in writing as I would talk to them in real life…and follow the same rules that one would follow in any other conversation.
Be interesting, be relevant, and be interested in what they are interested in. That is a pretty easy formula for content marketing.
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