Breaking Through the Clutter: 5 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Your Content
Consumers are inundated with content, messaging and ads each day. 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, 100 million photos and videos are uploaded daily on Instagram, and The New York Times publishes 65 blogs every day. According to an IBM Marketing Cloud study, 90 percent of the data on the internet has been created since 2016. In other words: the internet has no shortage of content and developing unique and insightful content that is appealing to your audience is more difficult than ever. Before hitting publish on your next blog, infographic or social media post, ask yourself these five questions about your content to ensure it’s doing the former instead of the latter:
1. Does this content communicate the captivating truth about your brand and/or its product(s) and service(s)?
Due to the overwhelming number of messages they receive daily, consumers struggle to locate the truth. You likely have numerous competitors with products and services nearly identical to yours. If you don’t know or don’t have a captivating truth about your brand, product or services, everything else that follows is a moot point. Primary research will identify your captivating truth, your target audience and the best ways to communicate that truth with that audience. Your captivating truth should be clear in every piece of messaging you deliver – from marketing emails to website copy to social media comments. In order to break through the clutter of content, you need to know your truth and who you are talking to.
2. Am I communicating my truth in the best way possible?
Once you know your truth, communicating that truth in a way that is appealing, unique and believable among your target customers is next. If your audience are women over the age of 50, a Tik Tok video isn’t going to service you. If your product or service relies heavily on visual assets, a podcast is unlikely to be your best platform. Consider the limitations for each platform has – from target audience and capabilities to the available call to action – and choose the platform and format that is most conducive to your end goal.
3. Is this content clear?
Readers get frustrated quickly when content isn’t clear. If you know your captivating truth, your content should come back to that truth over and over. Broadcast copyrighters have a rule of thumb: tell your audience once, tell them again and then remind them what you told them. Coming back to your point multiple times will not only ensure your point is clear throughout, but it will ensure your audience retains that information – so whether they complete a call to action now or later, they’ll likely be thinking on it beyond the few minutes they’re on your content.
4. Does this content follow best practices?
From the headline to keywords, small adjustments throughout your content can make or break your ability to get eyes on your content. For instance, did you know readers are drawn to odd-numbered lists? A blog with five steps versus four or six is likely to get more clicks. Beyond your headline, keywords and SEO are a major player in today’s content world. Your headline, copy, tags and even image names should include essential keywords that will increase your SEO – ranking your content higher on Google and other search engines. Ensure your content follows even the smallest best practices to boost your content and receive a better ROI.
5. Do my readers know what the next step is?
At the end of the day, every form of content has a purpose, and the action you want your reader to take should be clear. If you want readers to sign up for a newsletter or contact a sales agent, the sign-up information should be hyperlinked or contact information hyperlinked. Readers will not move to the next phase of your sales funnel if you do not guide them there. A direct call to action makes it clear to the reader what you want them to do and gives them the necessary information to do it.
Every piece of the content puzzle must match the message you want to communicate, and that message will either instill confidence or doubt about your brand. Competitors with subpar products or services are stealing your business with more compelling and captivating content by following these simple rules. Want to stop losing out on customers? Contact us today for a free, honest assessment of your current content strategy. We’ll pinpoint your challenges and opportunities and let you know what it takes to break through the clutter of information to reach your audience.