Spot Check: Are You Creating Content That Adds Value to Your Audience?

Nov 21, 2019


BEST PRACTICES SERIES

It’s one thing to pay for your brand to get exposure on social media and search engines, but it’s not enough to sustain success. In order to build a thriving brand, you also need organic content that engages your audience and adds value to their lives. Can you confidently say that your content checks these boxes?

4 Tips for Powerful Organic Content

There’s certainly a place for paid and promoted content. It’s a great way for smaller brands to gain some immediate lift and exposure. It’s also useful in terms of promoting new product launches and major developments within your business. However, paid content doesn’t pack nearly as powerful a punch as organic content does.

Organic content – i.e. original content that’s published on your website/blog and is found via traditional search or unpaid referral traffic – should account for the majority of your content marketing and digital marketing budget. That’s because no amount of paid media is going to turn bad content into good content. In other words, boosting poor content will do nothing but expose more people to the same low-quality copy. The better option is to focus on creating organic content, letting everything else fall into place. 

A well-developed piece of content that’s organically shared with your brand’s followers will almost always generate better results than a poorly developed piece of content that you pay to promote. 

The question is, how do you develop organic content that resonates with your audience and gives your brand a lift? Here are some recommendations:

1. Write What Your Audience Wants

Most brands mess up their content strategies by assuming that it’s all about them. Browse the average business blog and you’ll find promotional articles, case studies, and blog posts about new product releases. Though there’s nothing inherently wrong with this type of content, it’s not what your audience wants. And if your audience discovers that the majority of your content is self-serving, they won’t be interested in consuming it.

The key is to write content that your audience actually wants to consume – content that resonates with their needs, wants, and pain points. This is how you earn the right to be heard when you do have something to promote. 

2. Provide Tangible Value

Your audience wants tangible value that helps them accomplish, solve, or benefit from something. The most effective organic content is “how-to” content. Anytime you can show a reader how to do something themselves, you’re establishing trust and cultivating positive rapport.

3. Evergreen Over Annuals

In the world of content marketing, the term “evergreen” is given to content that’s valuable today and will still be relevant in a few years. It stands in stark contrast to trendy content that may be newsworthy today, but will be irrelevant in the near future. 

As you develop your content strategy, be on the lookout for evergreen topics that make the most out of your investment. These tend to be overarching/conceptual topics, rather than trendy subjects. However, it can take a little bit of planning and effort to zero in on what works.

“The problem with generating good evergreen ideas is that often it feels as if the best topics have already been covered, maybe even in excess,” marketer Megan Marrs writes. “In this case, the key will be to add a unique viewpoint to a popular topic, or go into more depth and provide additional details.”

Once you develop a piece of evergreen content, you’ll need to occasionally go back and review it for relevancy and clarity. With some simple tweaks, an evergreen blog post can provide years of value to your audience.

4. Let Your Voice Shine Through

Good organic content must feel natural. While there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing your content writing to professional copywriters, make sure you provide them with clear style guides. Content marketing is all about voice. Straying from your brand’s voice will water down your content and frustrate your readers. 

Analyze, Optimize, and Grow

As you know, we’re swimming in a sea of data. Everything your business does is surrounded by thousands – perhaps millions – of data points. The key is to make sense of this data so you can make intelligent decisions that benefit your business now and in the future. 

As you shape your content strategy, make it a point to track performance and study results. Based on the trends you uncover, you can optimize your approach so that it’s perfectly tailored to your audience and their needs.


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