Todd Martin

Todd Martin

Sales Strategy

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Is Your Content Hitting the Mark?

January 9, 2014

If you’re not getting the results you expect from your online efforts, take another, closer look at your content.

Todd Martin 010914 image 1On websites, blogs and social media, your content is your voice. It needs to speak clearly and powerfully. Whether you create your own or have it prepared by someone else, making sure that it accomplishes its goals should be your highest priority.

Whatever you’re trying to do with any one online piece, achieving success requires careful attention to some content basics. I’ve talked about these in a previous blog, but they bear repeating.

So before publishing, and during content creation and editing, keep the elements below in mind throughout the process. For maximum effectiveness, your marketing content should:

  • Capture attention immediately – Use the content’s title or heading to grab your readers’ eyes and pull them in. Ask a question. Make a surprising statement. Let readers know what the topic is and how it is relevant. Title lead-ins like “6 Ways to…” are also effective at leading people to what you have to say.
  • Get right to the point – Use the first sentence of your content to explain why what you’re about to say is important to the target audience. Identify the issue you’re addressing and let your readers know that you’re about to help them solve a problem or answer a question they have.
  • Be informative – Every type of marketing content has a single job to do: It must give your audience informationTodd Martin 010914 image 2 that it needs. That’s why people are on your blog or website or reading your email marketing letter. They’re looking for information. If you can provide that information, you’re a hero.
  • Recognize the audience – Know your audience well before creating content. Use that knowledge to decide how the content will be written. Use language that the audience will understand. Don’t talk over their heads, but don’t oversimplify your language. Match your word choices and style to the audience. You must be a content chameleon, but always be yourself.
  • Be concise – Like you, everyone who encounters your content is busy and always short of time. Provide information without beating around the bush. Use lists to lead readers to your important points, and keep them moving through your content. Be brief and be clear.
  • Be relevant and accurate –Make sure that what you’re telling your readers is pertinent to their interests and goals, and do thorough fact checks. If your content includes an incorrect fact that the reader recognizes, you’ll lose credibility — and a prospect.
  • Avoid writing errors – Proofread all content thoroughly for proper spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization and sentence structure. Errors in these areas may seem unimportant, but anything that jars readers distracts from your message. Double-check everything.
  • Ask for action – Once you’ve provided the information, ask readers to do something. Offer a way to put what they’ve learned to use. Include a link to click, a contact method and help them become new leads or customers. Always provide a way to continue the marketing process.

Effective Content is Key to Powerful Results

Todd Martin 010914 image 3Don’t make the common mistake of thinking quantity of content can substitute for its quality. Focus on your content’s quality by making even the shortest pieces the very best they can be. Top-quality content will make your marketing efforts more effective, more readable and, ultimately, more successful.

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