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Creating quality content, for your brand or related online or offline need, is more of an art. It goes beyond stringing words together and calls for creativity, adaptability and knowledge, if one is to truly impact the minds and hearts of the target audience. Here are 10 great guidelines to help you in your quest to building great content or copy that effectively reinforces your brand or industry authority.

1. Make it easy to find and easy to share
Make sure you know where your target audience is coming from. Make your content easy to find across both your website as well as other social channels, in accordance with effective search engine optimisation. Place your social sharing buttons where there is greatest online visibility, thus making it easier for readers to share within their network. Ensure your shared content stands out even more through attention grabbing headlines strategically displayed on social media and other landing pages, to capture interest and maximise engagement.

2. Make it memorable
Good content is interesting, but great content is memorable. It should leave you impacted and thinking about a specific concept, brand or product. It should evoke appropriate emotions within your target audience or readers as this will ensure that the material sticks at the forefront of their minds.

3. Focus on the consumer
If you focus 100% on giving your readers useful information based on their precise needs you will enjoy more success than simply bombarding them with messages you ‘feel’ they should be exposed to. Your brand communications should therefore be structured to address the problems, queries, needs and wants of your target market in order to be effective. This is illustrated by a global brand like Nike in their approach to branding where they associate their product with the “product of choice for professional athletes”. They do not focus on inundating readers with lots of information relating to the technical design, manufacture and makeup of their products.

4. Don’t make it salesy
Modern consumers no longer want to feel like they are being pitched to. Selling your products and services these days has to be about creating a brand that your customers can relate to. Part of this involves giving them amazing content which includes copywriting and they will gladly share.
Avoid making all your content sound like a sale’s pitch, rather communicate with your consumers and market on a more personal level that directly and sincerely connects with them.

5. Create and publish new content regularly
Keep your content relevant and current. This ensures that your customers know that have your finger on the pulse of the industry and are aware of the latest trends or market dynamics. Creating new industry specific content also helps to establish greater authority within your respective field. Experiment with different types of content and soon you will establish a strategic direction for your overall content marketing strategy.

6. Create content that is user-friendly
Content creation should also be based on clear, concise structure for most effective results. Your content should not be too long and neither too short. This applies in various ways and is an issue best understood by professional content creators or copywriters. For instance, based on the target audience and nature of the piece the article length may vary. But each paragraph should be no more than three to five sentences too.

Written content can ideally be blended effectively with infographics or relevant images where possible. And in the case of campaigns or an extensive topic, it is best to launch a series of articles over a reasonable duration, or periodically to create predictability for end users. Content must encourage readers to willingly read on till the end. Make sure you also place the right content in the right place. Putting everything in the same place without categories, for instance, can be confusing and readers are likely to lose interest.

7. Creating Authoritative vs Opinionated content
Readers are seeking authoritative content versus merely opinionated material. Any form or brand communication, press release or write up should be backed by current, reliable factual information based only on credible research and sound sources. Material lacking substance of an authoritative nature is especially a disservice to online and offline content created for brands. Target markets are seeking more than just promotional information. They are looking to see whether such brand or enterprise demonstrates knowledge and expertise within its industry or field, and this shines through in the content released.

8. Opting for Industry specific vs only Brand specific content
Make sure you create content that is specific to your industry, as opposed to purely focusing on the brand and related aspects such as services, products, advantages and so on. Industry specific content achieves superior results when it comes to convincing readers that you are indeed the service provider or supplier of choice. With that as a basis it becomes easy to then refer readers to useful brand specific information regarding their unique needs. This also means that one is creating content that is truly relevant to the audience, rather than purely shooting at random topics or aspects of the brand.

9. Be original
No one likes unauthentic content or material that smacks of as insincere. So while services and products being competed against on a macro level are very typical, successful brands know how to differentiate themselves from the masses. Your content should be original in the sense of remaining true to the ethos of the brand amidst offering similar services or products to competitors. In other words a successful campaign or business doesn’t necessarily mean reinventing the wheel, but just focusing on the fine details and developing competitive advantages. Strive to create content that is original, captivating and interesting enough to encourage the audience to read all the way to the end.

10. Start small
If you focus on creating a lot of content purely for the sake of volume versus quality content, it won’t be long before you hurt your brand. Start where you are in terms of capacity, budget and so forth. If it is within your means to enlist a professional for a page or two monthly – while it may be a small start – this is preferred to trying to create pages of your own content weekly, without the requisite knowhow.

Take a look at this interesting survey below by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, which reveals the demand for digital news in the countries mentioned (willingness to pay). Even at a low level the percentages still represent large volumes of people willing to pay for such news, thus indicating a notable demand. If you’d like to comment or have any related feedback email us directly on info@genesisarticles.co.za. For a professional assessment of your content needs or to request a quote, simply contact us here.

Thomson Reuter - infographic 1

Source: Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism