In any given week, we here at SuperDeluxe Marketing create a lot of content on behalf of our customers. We are passionate about creating content that’s valuable, useful, and relevant—so much so that we’ve made it part of its own acronym: VUR-ROOM. You know why? Because great content helps your company take off.
I know, I know, it’s really over the top. But it works. That’s why we wanted to take our learnings and package them into a guide—as a gesture of solidarity and a way to be useful to fellow marketers. $1B in wasted content marketing efforts makes us want to cry and flip over tables. Our best practices that follow will help you help avoid some of the common content marketing traps (and will keep us out of anger management classes on your behalf).
For all that is good in this world: create customer personas
We love personas. In fact, we love them so much we wrote a three part series about them a while back; you should take a look if you are interested in a deep dive on the topic. But for those who want a “speed dating” version of why we are so passionate about the topic, we’ll give you a quick summary right now.
Customer personas are a way for marketers to make a sketch of their key audiences. Often organizations will have multiple customer personas and will create content to serve each of the different demographics. When we create a piece of content, the first question we ask is: who are we creating this content for? Sometimes our customers already have personas formulated, other times they don’t. If they don’t, we help them create a profile for each persona, collecting data points and information to figure out who they are and how we can best serve them. Here’s an example of some of the information we collect:
Super Deluxe Customer Persona Template
Be tactical: Write to solve a problem
Once you have a persona, you have a better idea of who you’re writing for—including the problems they might be up against, which is how you can begin to shape your content. As a marketer, it’s your job to create content that can help your persona find solutions to their challenges. Don’t bury the problem in paragraphs of fluffy writing. Use graphics, stats and quotations to draw attention to the pain points your content piece is intending to solve.
Be upfront: Declare the intent behind your content
According to Hubspot, 43% of people admit to being “skimmers”—meaning nearly half of your audience may not even read the entirety of your content piece. Ouch. Now more than ever, it’s imperative to declare the mission statement behind your content upfront. Providing a summary even before the introductory paragraph can help your customers determine just how useful this content piece will be to them:
Here is our formula for writing spectacular summaries:
[State the problem, which should be the content topic] + [Back it up with data] + [State of the market] + [Affirmation of the protagonist, if there is one] + [Tease how this article can help serve the pain-point]
Want to see it in action? Check this out:
Millennial employees are increasingly hard to retain. Turnover among this generation costs the US economy $30.5 billion annually, yet by 2030 they are projected to make up 75 percent of the workforce. Organizations are scrambling to understand how Millennials live and work in an effort to improve retention and create fulfilling opportunities for their young employees. More than any other generation before them, Millennials are seeking purpose in their role and connection to a greater cause. Read on to understand some of the key drivers behind Millennial retention in the workforce, and how these insights can be applied right in your own organization.
Be smart: Configure your content for search engines
Content marketing and SEO go hand in hand, like peanut butter and jelly. Being thoughtful about content architecture will serve you well when potential customers turn to Google looking for solutions. Here are some of the best practices we adhere to when assessing and planning content architecture:
Taking Pride in the Content You Create
Content marketing strategy requires thought, planning and tact. Personas, problem solving, and yes, even robots, are all pieces of the pie that can help your content stand out from the rest. In a world where content saturation is a very real thing, taking care to create valuable, insightful content will serve you and your customers well.
I'm a veteran digital marketer whose career has grown up with the Internet.