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How to Create Content That Stands Out

By Sara Beth Jonassen
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According to marketing research firm Ascend2, the #1 goal of marketers is to improve engagement through their marketing strategies. And engagement begins with content that stands out from the pack, grabs your target audience's attention with a title that addresses their specific needs, and then keeps them reading by providing helpful resources, tips, and concrete solutions.

Writing engaging content for a variety of clients means wearing many different hats--getting into the mindset of your current target audience. It's a lot like fiction writing. As a short fiction writer, I know that pulling the reader into the story with a compelling title and irresistible opening sentence is the first order of business. After that, you keep them engaged by telling a story they can relate to on a personal or human level.

When I'm creating content for a professional accounting firm, my writing tone and style is vastly different then when I'm writing for a brick-and-mortar storefront business. This makes your content relatable to one distinct persona. Part of standing out from the crowd is dead-on specificity and a custom-tailored tone of voice.

How do you do it? Here are a few simple tips:

  • Research content that your target persona will be searching
  • Write in the same tone of voice you would use on the telephone with the target
  • Don't forget to include keywords in your target's language in the meta description

Writing for not just any reader, but your very specific target audience, is the name of the content creation game.

The internet is a veritable ocean of information. In this endless sea of content offerings, what stands out is a blog, post or email that addresses your persona's most pressing problem, speaks to them in their voice, and offers concrete solutions, or steps needed to take to find their own solution. This is why they were searching the internet in the first place: to resolve their problem.

When the content you create feels custom-tailored to their needs, concerns and industry background, your persona is apt to engage with that content, return to read more blogs or subscribe to your company newsletter. One day, they may become a customer or even a promoter!

So, before you write that blog, it helps to remember to use the following best practices:

1: Address Your Persona's Problem

Your product or service is solving your persona's particular problem, so why not address that problem directly with your content? This means doing your research.

You can watch for selling trends, conduct an existing customer survey or try your hand at Google searches to discover what happens when you yourself set out to solve your persona's problem.

It can help to ask yourself these questions:

  • How readily available is my persona's solution?
  • If there are many solutions, what makes my product or service different?
  • How can my company address the problem in a unique and constructive way?
  • What solutions and advice can I share that are free, or readily available without cost?

2: Use Your Persona's Language

There's nothing better than making a friend who speaks your language, shares your tastes, experiences your struggles and obstacles, and also has your sense of humor. It makes you feel at home.

Does your persona say, "Hiya!" or do they say, "How do you do?" Would they read a blog titled "5 Great Money-Saving Tips for Marketers" or would they prefer "5 Marketing Strategies for Bolstering Lead Generation"?

If you're not sure, think about the kind of tone you would use with the client if you were talking with them on the telephone. Very often, we naturally and unconsciously match the tone of a client in order to facilitate a connection.

It's not just about choosing the right words or phrases, it's about making a digital connection. When you speak your persona's language, it fosters trust and respect. It lets them know you understand where they are coming from, what their needs are, and how they fit into their industry.

Combining a relatable voice with a practical solution to their problem creates engagement. In time, the sense of camaraderie may very well lead to brand loyalty. 

3: Include Keywords from Your Persona's Search

Remember to include the most effective keywords from your search engine results research and keyword tool planner. Include these words and phrases in:

  • the body of the content
  • the URL
  • the meta description.

Doing so, will increase the likelihood that your target persona finds the valuable information that you're generating just for them.

Remeber, a meta description that's brief and to the point gets much more love from search engines and readers!

 Good luck -- and happy content creation!


What is quality content? Quality content creates curiosity, captures imaginations, compels actions, describes possibilities, ignites new modes of thinking and challenges old ones.

So, how can a small business generate, not just run-of-the-mill content, but truly killer content? Check out this helpful eBook:

 Creating Killer Content eBook