Anyone can create content. You can give your three-year-old a crayon, and he is likely to doodle something on a scrap of paper; you can give a monkey a typewriter, and he’ll either produce gobbledygook or Hamlet. Content generation is easy — what’s difficult is making content that matters to your audience.
If you are struggling to produce high-quality content that engages your audience and convinces them to convert, you need to learn the five Cs of content marketing. Regardless of whether you are making a text post, a short-form video, a podcast or something else, these Cs can help you find success in your content campaign:
Content must be clear for it to be effective. However, many people misbelieve that explicit content is synonymous with content that can be understood; the truth is that you should strive to make it impossible for your content to be misunderstood. The last thing you want is for a member of your audience to be confused (or worse, offended) by something you write or say; that could lead to large portions of your audience failing to convert or even a bad reputation for your brand and business.
In the pursuit of clarity, you have two options: the easy way and the right way. The easy way to ensure transparency is to use approachable language — small, common words and short sentences. However, the right way is to understand the topic of your content fully. Then, you will be able to explain the issues you are discussing in plain English accurately, so anyone can comprehend.
You might often read that content should be “clear and concise,” but not much attention is paid to explaining what conciseness is or how you should achieve it. “Concise” isn’t the same as “short;” rather, it is closer to “efficient.” Your content should straightforwardly accomplish its goal, without rambling or redundancy.
Entertainment is critical for content — it is why content is such a useful tool for marketing. You should strive to develop content that compels your readers to continue interacting with your brand, and you can do this by making your content fun or drawing upon your audience’s other emotions, like empathy or fear. You should perform some research to understand better what keeps your audience engaged; after all, what is content marketing without research?
Unfortunately, too many content creators striving to be clear and concise eliminate their voice, which tends to make content sound dry and unappealing. You are allowed (encouraged!) to give your content personality, which will help draw in your audience and keep them engaged. However, you shouldn’t allow your voice to mask the objective of your content, which is likely to inform or persuade.
People are less likely to believe your content purely because you created it. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. Your business is always trying to sell something, be it a brand image or a product or service, so your audience is likely to be wary of any messages you send.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tools and techniques you can use to build your content’s credibility. A large content catalogue is a good start; not only does it improve your SEO, but it establishes you as an expert in your field, as a repository for any and all information related to your industry. Another tactic is impeccable customer service, which will put all of your audience at ease and make them more inclined to trust your content.
Call to Action
Finally, your content needs a call to action, something that tells your audience what to do next. Your call to action doesn’t have to be “buy my products;” it can be a way to continue engaging with your content, like directions to download a free ebook or access to a social media community. Then you can ensure that your audience won’t feel lost or lacking in direction once they have finished your content. There is content, and then there is good content. By practicing the five Cs of content marketing, you can ensure that whatever content your business produces serves to engage your audience and accomplish your goals.