You need to be dead certain that your action will reach all the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business. That’s why it's time to discuss the relevancy of your content. If you want to make sure that you’re producing something that has a real chance of resonating well with your targeted crowd before you publish it, your content should provide smart and concise answers to the following questions:
1. Why and How is This Content Relevant to My Targeted Audience?
The relevancy of your content to your audience will either make or break your content marketing. Even though this seems like a pretty straightforward question, you have to keep in mind that there are a lot of B2B blog posts out there that fail to answer this simple question: Why? Well, because the authors of most blog posts write for themselves, and not their audience.
Don’t get me wrong, this is fine if you run a personal blog and if you want to create a crowd of followers that digs your style and not what you sell online. However, if that’s not the case, if you want your content to help you rapidly increase your traffic and get as many people as possible to actually look at what you’re selling and buy your products and services, you immediately need to stop what you’re doing and change your approach.
Your goal here isn’t to ease your soul, it’s to make money and stimulate growth. If your readers don’t get any real takeaways from your content, if they don’t feel like their enlightened in any way by your writing, they won’t convert. And why should they? Your content might seem fun, but the fact is, it’s useless to them. It doesn’t educate, nor does it provoke any further action.
You have to remember that you’re providing a service here. Your job isn’t necessarily to write something that you think is good, it’s to create something that your audience will see as entertaining, educating and (or) useful.
2. What Kind of Emotion Do I Want to Provoke With This Content?
If you go through all the data and actually analyze some of the most popular posts on the web, you’ll see that 90% of them are developed with an idea to trigger certain emotions from its readers. There are exceptions, of course, but in most cases, this is what usually sets good and great content apart.
A lot of content producers don’t really know just how big of a part tapping in your audience’s emotions plays in your content’s success. That’s why most of them never truly create something that takes the internet by storm and generates an insane number of clicks on their website.
Emotionally optimizing your content is just as important as optimizing it for search. Just look at popular sites like BuzzFeed. Even though they don’t really produce great, compelling or informative content, their posts are always generating tons and tons of traffic.
Sure, BuzzFeed now has a large following and today their content will get shared by thousands and thousands of people no matter what. However, it wasn’t always like that. Just like you and me, BuzzFeed started small. The guys behind this website also had to build their audience from the ground up. If you review some of their earlier hits, you’ll see that these posts are heavy loaded with nostalgia (above anything else).
Crafting posts and titles that instantly provoke a specific type of emotion from your readers should be part of every smart content marketing strategy. Your targeted audience is constantly being bombarded with all sorts of different posts and advertisements. Thanks to that, their attention is extremely limited.
If you don’t provide your readers with an instant hook, they'll likely ignore your content. However, if you give them something that will touch them on a deeper and more emotional level. Always try to focus on triggering positive emotions, instead of negative ones. People don’t want to be bummed out. They want something that makes them feel good about themselves and the world they live in.
3. Who Will Promote My Content and Why?
It doesn’t matter how good you think your content may be: if people aren’t responding to it, it’s basically worthless. That’s why it’s of crucial importance to write for your audience, and not yourself.
We all want our readers to react to our blog posts. Engagement is everything, people. If your posts don’t really generate new traffic, conversions or social media interactions, you should either call it quits or start developing a completely different content marketing strategy.
When I write content for my blog, I always think about how I’m going to motivate people to share my writing with their friends and coworkers. Figuring out the likes and dislikes of our targeted readers is the backbone of every sane customer-centric content strategy.
As many studies have shown, people engage with content that offers some genuine value or information that exceeds their knowledge base about a particular subject of interest.
Apart from that, most people really love posts that show the author’s human side or feature at least some humor in them. Humor was, is and forever will be an extremely welcomed guest in every content marketing strategy. Just look at PornHub. Even though these guys host NSFW videos, their comical approach to marketing often helps them get featured on major mainstream sites like The Daily Bot, Mashable and Gizmondo.
PornHub manages to leverage humor to increase their content marketing efforts across the board, but this sort of approach tends to vary from niche to niche. That’s why it’s always smart to put in some extra effort and design precise customer personae before you even publish a single post on your blog.
4. How, Where and When Will My Targeted Audience Acknowledge My Content?
This question takes us back to the designing customer personae part, where we need to create detailed pictures of our ideal customers.
Segmenting your audience isn’t just a thing marketers say to annoy their clients. That’s why you need to know if you’re targeting altruists (people who share content out of the desire to be helpful), or careerists, (people who are interested in building their reputation by constantly sharing valuable information with their network).
Naturally, these are only two types of personae that you could encounter while working as a content marketer in various different niches or industries. The important thing to take away from this question is that you should always figure out who your leads are, and when do they usually share your their content. If you want to create something that is aimed for people who mostly hang out on, for example, Pinterest, it smarter to put in a little extra effort and transform your textual post into a cool infographic, that will visually become a far better fit for their network.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope my validity test provided you with some serious insights on how to improve the success rate of your content marketing efforts. If you have anything to ask or add, feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below.