It’s not enough to just publish content. In order for your content to perform the way you need it to, you’ll have to create content that your audience will love. Of course this is easier said than done and many brands within the professional service industries struggle to say something new and different from their peers. With more and more brands producing helpful content, it can feel like everyone is humming the same tune rather than singing their own song.
Here are just a few ideas to help you craft amazing content that your clients will absolutely love.
Get your clients’ input
Perhaps an obvious way to inform your content creation ideas is to involve your clients in the process. If you really want to know what kind of content your audience wants, ask them! Float topics by them or allow them to freely tell you what they’d like to know. Also, be sure to confirm what formats they prefer most (written blog posts, videos, podcasts, audio clips, images, email). Do you know how and when they consume your content? Are they at a desktop during working hours or are they on their cell phone at 11pm at night? Beyond the content itself, make sure your content delivery and timing is spot on to enhance your clients’ experience with your content!
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Don’t regurgitate popular material
If it’s already been said, don’t repeat the same ideas and positions. Instead, think of creative ways to lend your own perspective on a familiar topic and reference the existing material that you’re responding and adding to. In the same way, why not start an entirely new conversation and not be afraid to be the first to have a certain opinion. Originality will help you stand out from the noise and help your clients see you as a thought leader.
Make it actionable
You can create something that is good and that your clients will think, “That was an interesting read.” Or you can craft something better that your clients can actually use. While your opinions are great and all, share more than an opinion – provide actionable takeaways in your content so that your clients can actually do something in response to what you’ve created.
Let your clients contribute content
Your clients can receive a lot of value from hearing from each other. And when your clients provide you with content, not only does it take some of the content-creation burden off of you, but it lends far more credibility and authority to your brand than your voice alone. Let them share their story, things that they’ve learned, ways that they’ve overcome a certain challenge. Let their experience help your other clients and audience. Feature them in your newsletter or create a client spotlight piece. Create a private Facebook group where you facilitate discussions around topics that matter to your clients and prospective clients.
Be entertaining and memorable
Not all content needs to be educational, nor should it be boring. I’m reminded of a great quote by Walt Disney:
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.
It’s really not more complicated than that and I’m not quite sure I can say it any better. Don’t ever publish content just to get it out there. Crafting great content that gets consumed, shared and engaged with takes effort to make it better and more experiential than the droves of content already cluttering the internet.
Keep it fresh
In the same way, keep your content updated and fresh for your audience. Don’t let your client’s get tired of the same old content your brand produces. Change it up sometimes, surprise them – keep them interested. You will do well to keep them interested by consistently creating NEW content that grows with your client’s interests and most pressing priorities and concerns. Keep a pulse on your clients and let it always inform the new ways you can publish great content for them.
Keep it real and be honest with yourself
Finally, be authentic and write to your audience with some personality. As a professional service, relationships are the cornerstone of your business’ success. Therefore, write in a manner that talks to your audience, not at them. I would really avoid any language that sounds like you’re lecturing. Write the way you have conversations with your clients. Infuse it with the same energy you provide in face-to-face meetings and don’t be too shy to get a little personal. There is enough vanilla sounding content out there already. Own your own flavor that your clients can get excited about.