Does your content suck? It might, but I mean that in the kindest, most professional way possible. Hang with me, we’re about to improve the value of your content and make it waaaaaay better.
Whether you’re writing blog posts, social media captions, or drafting newsletters, quality content is one of the most effective ways to connect with your target audience and build trust. It should also convert.
If you want folks to care about your content AND what you’re selling, you need to make your content’s value irresistible, wherever you can.
How to Improve the Value of Your Content
These 5 tricks can help you make any piece of content even more valuable for your brand and more importantly, for your target audience.
1. Create content for your target audience, not yourself
Every piece of content you publish should be more about them than it is about you.
The biggest challenge many of my content clients face before we begin working together, is that they’re creating content they like, not what their target audience actually wants. This is often a symptom of the fact they don’t know who their target audience is, but it can also be indicative of a weak content strategy in general.
If you want to improve the value of your content, it has to be valuable for them–this means identifying target personas, digging into their unique pain points and interests, and getting really specific about how you satisfy them. The more detailed you get with this, the higher your content will perform and convert.
From here, you can begin to explore where your audience hangs out, what kind of content they crave, and create new content (or revitalize older stuff) that bridges the gap between your offerings and their needs.
Content will only have value and be considered credible by its audience if it’s clearly been produced for their benefit, and not for the purpose of making them buy something. So avoid the sales pitch and focus on them.
Pro-tip: Less is more; quality over quantity. Take your time to create better content that connects and lands better results.
2. Design honest & authentic content
People connect with people, not companies. So be authentic! Share your vision, values, and purpose. Highlight adjacent companies that are doing good in the world. Celebrate your wins. Promote social causes your company believes in. Give your people a reason to get behind your brand.
That said, be wary of trends and viral temptations; use sparingly and only if they truly align with your company.
If you haven’t done it yet, developing a tone and style guide, key messaging and stories, or content buckets will help keep your content on track, and on brand.
3. Build your content structure funnel
When I begin a new content writing project, I start with an outline that resembles a cone. Known as a content architecture funnel (CAF), this content planning method helps me structure and prioritize content in a way that is meaningful, clear, and intuitive, based on audience and business goals.
There are several components to this funnel. Here is the high-level breakdown, top to bottom, that I use for planning most of my blog and newsletter content. Feel free to give it a whirl when planning your own.
- Ideation + analyze. Based on the information you pulled in point one, establish the reason for this piece of content and what the goal is. If I’m writing for a new client or a niche I’m less familiar with, this often involves research and pre-article preparation as well.
- Get to the point. Tell them what’s in it for them as quickly as possible, ideally within the first paragraph or even the first sentence. When visitors connect with your content you want to immediately hook them through education, entertainment, or conversion. This means sharing must-know tips or tricks, delightful surprises they’ll love, or an offer they can’t resist.
- Meaningful and clickable title + headings. Your content needs to build trust, but you can’t do that if you begin with a headline that stretches the truth or is mere clickbait. Instead, craft your headings to accurately describe the content piece in a way that readers feel emotionally compelled to continue reading.
- Main points + evidence to back them up. This is the good stuff where you deliver on the promise of your title and offer immense value. To keep your audience engaged and on the page, you want to naturally guide readers through your content starting with the most important points, until the very end, where they are compelled to take action. There are several ways to do this: hierarchize main points to tell a meaningful story, keep your paragraphs short and digestible, avoid jargon, use your brand’s unique tone and personality, and ultimately offer something tangible and useful they can’t live without.
- Curate other vital content elements. These elements help break up the text and add additional value to your content, making it more interesting and valuable for your audience. They may include: relevant images, screenshots, or graphics, compelling testimonials or case studies, links to additional reputable sources, or even buttons and payment methods.
- End with a clear, powerful, clickable-AF CTA. If people don’t do something after consuming your content, all this effort is for naught. High-performing content ultimately inspires action, so give them the opportunity to act! Your call-to-action should be concise, focused, assertive, and feel like a natural progression after what they’ve read.
- Review & revise. People will only invest in you if you show them you care enough to invest in them. So once it’s all done and on the page, walk away. Come back later. Then edit edit edit before hitting publish. Schedule it in your calendar to come back in 6-12 months to revise and republish to keep it fresh.
- Optimize your content for Google (SEO). This is the backbone to every piece of social or web content you create. I actually begin this process way up at the top of the funnel with keyword and topic research, but I include it at the bottom here because it not only factors into every other step of the funnel, but it’s really the core foundation on which everything else is built.
4. Discover the power of Google Analytics
Even with a very basic understanding of Google Analytics, you can uncover a lot about who your target audience is and which pieces of content perform the best with them. Measure this data to springboard new content in these subject areas, guide your content strategy, and ultimately increase the ROI on your efforts.
Pro-tip: You can do the same on the social medias. Dig into your insights and uncover the posts that receive the most engagement. Then, make more like them.
5. Speak to your customers (I know, right?)
One of the fastest ways to find out what’s most valuable to your target audience is to ask them. This is extra true if you’re developing a very specific piece of content such as a FAQ or About Us page, or a whitepaper or newsletter opt-in incentive.
Connect with them on social media by asking questions on stories or in post captions, have existing customers fill out a (short) custom form on your website, or even get on the phone with people.
Most folks are happy to help if they can, especially if it means you’re creating something that will benefit them.
Conclusion: valuable content matters now more than ever
Every single piece of content needs to grab your target audience’s attention, keep them on the page, earn their trust, and ultimately warm them up to an irresistible CTA.
Think of it this way: your content is so much more than throwing some words on a screen and hoping for the best. It’s a meaningful way to connect with these people and create life-long buy-in and loyalty.
Ready to get started?
You have a story to tell…
Hi, I’m Kristy–a Vancouver copywriter and content creator who is passionate about creatively connecting brands with the right consumers and communities. My mission is to help you share yours. Click the button below and I’ll be thrilled to discuss how I can help you empower connections and drive conversions.