We’ve all had those moments when the amount of content you need to create doesn’t fit into the amount of time you have for content creation. You end up having to make a choice between throwing a bunch of things together or spending time on a single piece of good content.
It’s a rough choice, a bit like having to choose between coffee and chocolate.
And you’re not alone.51% of marketers say that finding enough time is one of their biggest content struggles. The next most common problem? Producing enough volume or variety, a struggle for 50% of marketers. It is possible to have both at the same time—a content mocha, if you will.
1. Create Content on a Regular and Consistent Basis
One of the best ways to hit that balance is to create content on a regular and consistent basis.
We know, that seems a little odd. Increasing the frequency of your content creation seems like it would only take up more of your time, right? Not necessarily. Remember that the goal of your content isn’t to convert with a single piece. It’s to guide visitors through the process step by step. The best way to attract a variety of visitors is with a wide variety of content. Consider this data from theB2B Content Market Reportby LinkedIn Group Partner:
9% publish less than once per month
18% publish content weekly
15% publish content once a month
20% publish multiple times a week
22% publish multiple times a month
10% publish daily
Let’s do the math for a second. That means that70% of marketers publish more than once a month, and48% publish at least once a week.Turns out that there’s a good reason for that. A more frequent publishing schedule allows you to…
2. Get Specific with Your Content
When planning your content strategy and schedule, avoid topics like “Your Guide to Everything Mac Related.” That’s asking to fail. You can spend weeks researching everything there is to know about Macs, then tack on a few weeks more to write about everything you read. And you still won’t succeed at covering everything.
Concentrate on making specific content choices, like an article that’s only about the improvements on the latest Mac OS release. Your research time will be cut into a tiny fraction of what it could be, and every minute of research time adds up.
When you get more specific, the quality of your content will also improve.Think about the Mac OS article. Getting specific allows you to dig into the newest features and give your reaction to them. Those explanations and reactions are why a visitor would come to you in the first place.
Now you’ve got a piece of content that was quick to create and is high quality at the same time. You may even have time to sit back and enjoy a mocha of your own.
3. Write Your Content to be Skimmable
Back in 1997 Nielsen did a similar study of internet readers and came up with the exact same 16% number. If readers haven’t adapted to web content in the last two decades, then you really shouldn’t hold your breath that they’ll change.
Unlike the readers, you can adapt. How well you adapt your content to fit their reading style will go a long way toward determining the content’s ability to convert. A big part of that is simple formatting.
Break down sections by big ideas. Put those ideas in large headlines.
Have a lot of important data? Break out the bullet points.
Don’t make big blocks of text. All they do is scream “Skip me!”
Choose words that get the idea across quickly. Even if they’re fake, like skimmable.
Bold keywords when needed. Just don’t overdo it. It looks ridiculous.
Build your content on the classic Inverted Pyramid concept
Whether you skimmed or read that list, you’re probably wondering what the heck an inverted pyramid is. The inverted pyramid is a formatting practice that journalists have been using since newsmen all sounded like Humphrey Bogart.
The core concept is pretty simple: most of the readers will only read the first part. So make sure your primary information is right up front.After that, add the secondary information. Fewer readers will get this far, but the information is less important, so it’s no big deal. Include the deep information nearer to the end, the stuff only the 16% who have time and care about the issue will read.
4. Make Sure Your Writing Fits Your Audience
The headline above is an illustration of one of your best tools to fit your content to your audience: word choice. Choose words that seem natural to your readers. That doesn’t mean you should try to use all of the right slang. That’ll only end in tears, especially if you’re trying to keep up with modern teenagers. It means your style should match the persona or target demographic for your marketing.
Be careful with industry terms, especiallyabbreviations. Just because you use it around the office doesn’t mean your readers know what it means.
Match the style to the content. Casual content, like blogs or ebooks, can have a more casual feel. White papers should be more formal and crisp.
Create a company style guide for content. The style and voice in content is your company’s content brand. Law offices shouldn’t be too flippant and construction suppliers shouldn’t be too buttoned up.
Keep it simple. When in doubt, choose the simplest word or phrase that still gets the idea across.
5. Write Your Content with a Specific Response in Mind
The whole point of creating the content is to convert the reader into a lead. Keep this goal in mind with every word that you write. That doesn’t mean that you should throw the sales pitch at them. In fact, you should do the exact opposite. Inbound marketing is about getting the reader to convert themselves. Make that as easy as possible by constructing your content to flow smoothly to a very specific end result.
Define your goal. Be as specific and exact as possible. Make it an active goal, like “Download the ebook” instead of something passive like “Find out more about our company.”
Be vicious about editing. See a section that doesn’t fit the goal? Get rid of it, even if it’s entertaining or good information. It’ll only muddy the waters.
Don’t mince words. Everyone knows you want something from them, so don’t talk around the idea. Come right out and say what you want them to do. Just don’t be obnoxious about it.
The more content you create, the more opportunity you have to convert. Keep these tips in mind to get high quality along with quantity.