3 questions to ask when evaluating content effectiveness

There can be artistic aspects to creating online content, but it is most effective when it is based on a scientific approach. Content marketing, after all, is about creating and sharing valuable, high-quality content to boost brand visibility while simultaneously generating interest in a business’s products and/or services.
It is well established that content is king and that high-quality content Рor 10x content Рis what it takes to succeed at content marketing. The problem is that the definition of quality content varies widely within the industry.

What does great content look like?

If one were to ask different people what “great content” looks like, the question will likely generate different answers. Quality, after all, is subjective.
But great content is not just something created by feel or intuition. This is where the science of content creation comes in. It concerns itself with the research and production of different content types and formats designed for a specific audience.
This means that there is an actual methodology that content marketers can follow to determine whether their content meets the standard of “good.” And it all begins by asking the questions listed below.

Is the content targeted?

For any content asset to be successful, it has to be a reflection of the overall campaign’s understanding of its audience, and where specific segments of the audience place in their respective “buyer journey.” This means that a successful content marketing campaign must have different types of content that:

  • Raises awareness
  • Promotes brand discovery
  • Builds thought leadership
  • Nurtures leads into sales

A tried and proven way to understand a campaign’s potential audience is to construct detailed profiles of those buyers called buyer personas–essentially semi-fictional representations of a brand’s ideal customer. They include their pain points, motivations and where they are on the buyer journey. The more detailed the buyer personas, the easier it is to craft content that speaks to their needs, resulting in targeted content.

Is the content credible?

In any niche or industry, there will always be a few people whose ideas and insights command influence and respect. What is it that makes them worth following and listening to? How can marketers create content that has the same effect on their brand?
The good news is that creating content offers a natural way to earn credibility. But it is not enough to just churn out article after article, which will only join the other 2 million “me too” blogs that are published every day.
A proven way to make any content asset more credible is to cite a study, chart, graph, case study or survey, and writing explanations about these findings. Doing this allows the credibility of those references to amplify the importance of the content asset.
If a brand does this repeatedly, each content asset it publishes will eventually gain a steady following of people looking for the next piece to fill them in on a valuable insight or tactic they can apply to their own situation.

Is the content valuable?

Content becomes valuable when it lines up with what its audience needs, instead of being simply the product of a wild guess. Valuable content combines different points that result in a piece that’s interesting, informative, and engaging all at the same time.
And more often than not, a valuable content asset does this by answering questions in the minds of its target audience. For example, someone looking for credible and relevant information on stress will probably have questions like:

  • How do I manage my stress?
  • Why do I feel stressed all the time?
  • Is it normal to feel stressed?
  • What are examples of stress management techniques?

The more questions a content can answer, the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the audience. But these answers also have to be credible and based on fact. Anything else is vacuous filler.

Final thoughts

Although there are several other questions that can help determine content quality, these three tips serve as a reliable baseline for measuring the effectiveness of content assets. If anything, the key takeaway from this guide is to consistently produce content that addresses the needs and concerns of a well-defined target audience, which should eventually turn them into loyal customers.

The key to marketing success is customer pain points

Customer pain points refers to the problems your customers face and how your products or services resolve those problems. If your marketing does not take into account the pain points your customers encounter, it will only be misunderstood – or worse, ignored. In order to effectively market your business, you must answer three important questions.

What problem is your product or service solving?

How do you know exactly what problems your customers are having? The easiest way is to ask them about the biggest challenge they are facing related to the product or service you offer. For example, if your company sells baby tubs, you would likely target mothers. And you might ask them this question: “What is the biggest problem you have with existing baby bathtubs?”
If you find out that the biggest problem your customers are having is that it takes too long to find the perfect water temperature for their babies, then you could create an infant bathtub that automatically heats the water to a preset perfect temperature. In doing so, you would solve a very specific customer pain point. You will also fill a niche that your competitors may have ignored.

What need is your product or service filling?

Although every targeted market in every industry is different, most customers have a common set of needs that your company must fulfill before they will consistently engage. These needs include:

  • Feeling special– Customers want your products and services to make them feel special or important. For example, a few years ago, Barclaycard introduced the first crowdsourced social media credit card in the industry. Unlike most credit cards, Barclaycard established its benefits and rewards based on customer suggestions that were put to a vote. The ideas with the highest number of votes became standard policy, including profit sharing.
  • Responsiveness– Your business should be responsive to what your customers tell you. One of the main customer pain points identified by Zappos was that its phone representatives did not have the authority to make changes without getting supervisor approval. So Zappos gave all its representatives the authority to do whatever it took to make a customer happy. After quickly implementing this change that addressed customer concerns, the company’s reputation soared.
  • Reassurance -What is your company doing to provide reassurance to customers that you will stand behind your products and services if something goes wrong? Having a liberal return policy is good, but Amazon took it to the next level when it offered a two-year worry-free guarantee for its Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition. The two-year warranty covers anything that happens to the tablet; for two years after purchase, Amazon will replace the old Kindle with a new tablet for any reason, no questions asked. This gives customers absolute assurance that the company stands behind its product.

What value does your content provide?

Remember: Anything that helps solve customer problems should be an integral part of your marketing strategy. And good content, including blog pieces, podcasts, webinars, video tutorials and eBooks, can help educate customers. It will give them tips and tricks for using your product or service and provide valuable information for their industry.
Your products and services are not the only things that can solve customer problems. In fact, providing actionable information to your customers increases the authority of your business and provides invaluable credibility. So when you are creating content, treat it the way you would your products and services. Make sure that each piece of content informs, entertains, answers questions and resolves problems.

Solve the right problems

You cannot market to your customers until you understand what their problems and needs are. From there, you must determine how your products and services provide a solution. But it is equally important to remember that you cannot solve all the problems your customers have. The more you hone in on a specific want or need, the more likely you are to attract their attention.
You should not think of customer pain points as something negative, but rather as the reason that your business exists. Because once you start looking at your products and services from the point of view of your customers, everything you do, including marketing, will be more targeted and more effective. To learn more about how we can help you create content that will solve your customers’ pain points, contact us today.

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