Defining Effective Content

Marketing veterans will agree that every company has a handful of unique content practices that work best for their brands. These practices are tried and tested, and yield some sort of success, time and time again. Your content ticks off all of the necessary boxes and falls perfectly into what your target audience wants - or so you assume.

Publishing the right kind of content can be tricky, especially when you’re focusing on results. You don’t simply want your readers to click on the title of your blog post, but rather to click through, take a good look at what you’ve got to offer, and either share it or convert into a paying customer. The latter, an action provoked by your content, is the best way in which to define whether or not your content is effective. Here are a few of the universal definitions that can be applied to any business, regardless of your existing content practices:

Your Content Has a Purpose

Irrespective of the type of results that can be written up on a report, your content needs to have a purpose outside of result-driven data. When it comes to your customers, it needs to serve a meaningful purpose. Devoid of sales-speak, your content needs to answer questions, provide information, entertain and solve problems. Perhaps the brand that you’re representing has released a new line of winter jackets – the last thing that you want to do is post copious amounts of product-related content. It would be in your best interests to write a blog post that provides information on the best skiing destinations in the world – not only are you engaging in a meaningful conversation with your target market, you are building a relationship with them too.

The Line of Communication is Continuous

Effective content establishes a line of communication that is both fluid and continuous – however, we don’t mean the type of content that generates leads resulting in spammy attempts at boosting sales. We’re talking about an open line of communication through which your customers are able to express their needs and wants. If you represent a beauty brand and you’ve posted a blog on ‘how to care for your skin during winter’, be sure to create a space in which customers are able to give their suggestions on what to write next. If you have a number of female subscribers who are begging for tips and tricks on how manage dry hair, give into their pleas and offer up some fresh new content.

The Content Has a Unique and Significant Voice

There are brands that don’t have a personality, and then there are those who have enough of a personality to leave customers feeling worn-out. If you want to be able to define your content as ‘effective’, you’re going to have to create a unique and significant 'voice' with which to communicate your ideas. If your content appears to be too tightly bound by your brand or product, you will only emulate a voice that begs attention to what you’re trying to sell. Whatever your persona, you need to ensure that your clients are able to understand and relate to your content – if your target market is that of young, aspiring professionals, don’t speak to them in an assuming tone. Rather encourage a conversation that is both comfortable and appropriate.

Your Content Generates Attention

Effective content generates attention – it is shared by influence(rs), liked by consumers and provokes an action. In industry terms, it is the type of content that yields conversions and ensures that traffic results in paying customers. However, it is free of forced ideas that aim (and fail) to punt the product or the brand, and is rather a melting pot of fresh and unique ideas.

If you’re wondering about whether or not your content is effective, take a look at how many people are influenced by your writing. It might be time to empty out the old bag of ideas and come up with something new and enthralling – your brand will thank you for it!

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