Content that resonates with your audience

Content Marketing
Creating posts that resonate with your readers is an often-overlooked part of what we do. It’s one of those touchy-feely things no one talks about. But it’s incredibly important — and it can be difficult to do. Here are some good tips!
Most content creators have probably felt like that puppy to the right ... you try so hard to get a point across, but your audience just doesn't seem to "get it." Or maybe they just don't care.

What's the deal, guys? Y U NO LIKE BLOG POST? (I won't turn that into a meme; we're on a strict 1-meme-per-post diet.)

The task of not just creating content, but creating content that resonates with your readers, is a critical but difficult task to master. In fact, MarketingProfs' newly released B2B Content Marketing benchmarking report cites that 52% of marketers find producing the kind of content that engages is their biggest challenge -- it was the most frequently cited challenge, second only to producing enough content.

But the content that tickles a reader's fancy is the stuff that gets shared socially, forwarded, and linked to from other sites. It's the stuff that keeps people reading 'til the end, driving conversions. It elevates your marketing from mediocre to monumental! We've got to create this kind of content, marketers.

But ... how do we do it? This post is going to break down what seems like an art -- connecting with readers through your content -- and turn it into more of a science. Because there arecertain elements that, if you infuse them into your content, will make it more relatable and impactful for your readers. Here's what you can do to create content that resonates within the deepest, darkest recesses of your readers' souls (or something a little less intense).

Develop Personas

The first step to creating content that resonates with readers is getting a better understanding of who your readers are, especially the ones you want to convert into leads and customers. That means if you haven't developed personas yet, now's the time. We've talked a lot in the past about how to create buyer personas -- you can read a comprehensive guide to conducting the research here, and download a free template to fill in that research and actually compile your buyer personas here.

But in addition to buyer personas, consider also creating reader personas. Because while you probably care most about appealing to your readers who will convert into leads and customers, there's also a segment of your readers who will probably never buy from your business, but will continue to read and share your content. In an ideal world, you can understand and appeal to both segments. Conducting that persona research now will give you the information you need to infuse the rest of the elements discussed in this blog post into your marketing content.

Deliver Content in the Right Format

You know how people get into debates about which is better -- reading a book on a tablet, or reading a real-life book with pages you can actually flip through? That's the kind of debate you should have about all of your marketing content. Whenever you set out to create a piece of marketing content, ask yourself:

1) What content format type is the best way to get this message across?

2) In what content format type will my audience most like to consume this content?

Here's an example from just the other day that nicely demonstrates the importance of choosing the right content format for optimal reader experience. Yesterday, we published a blog post, "12 Revealing Charts to Help You Benchmark Your Business Blogging Performance." The graphs came from a new ebook, Marketing Benchmarks From 7,000 Businesses, which contained benchmarking data about business blogging ... as well as landing pages, social media, and website analytics. Why use a blog post to highlight 12 charts just about blogging, and an ebook to highlight the dozens and dozens of other charts about all those other areas of marketing?

Because a blog is better suited to short-form content, while an ebook -- particularly because someone had to fill out a form with their personal information to redeem it -- is going to have a more captive audience, interested in scrolling through dozens and dozens of charts. The right content format, for the right type of content.

Whether it's deciding to create an infographic instead of a blog post, a video instead of an owner's manual, or a blog post instead of a checklist, determine what content format will help you get your message across in 1) the clearest way, and 2) the way your audience will most enjoy to read it.

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