August 9, 2021

Unsure If Your Content Is Valuable? Ask These 7 Questions

If you’re like most marketers, you’re concerned with creating valuable content. However, value is subjective—what is vital to one marketing team will not be for another. Likewise, you and your audience could have a different idea of what valuable information is. If your content is relevant to your audience, you are most likely to reach your marketing goals. 

Making posts and stories relatable and useful to your target market is no guarantee of success, but it certainly helps. If you’re always wondering if your audience finds your content helpful or not, here are questions to ask about it.

Does It Align With Marketing Goals? 

Build your editorial calendar with content objectives in mind. All pieces of content you release should be relevant to at least two of your marketing goals. For example, a blog post can help increase brand awareness while generating social media buzz, or it can help you rank for middle-of-the-funnel terms while helping leads understand your offering.

When writing content, ask yourself if it lends itself well to your marketing goals. Goals can overlap, but everything should contribute to the overarching message you want to deliver about your brand.

Does the Market Want It?

Arguably, this is the most significant factor for creating a post. You need to be sure that your content idea aligns with the audience’s wants or needs. Otherwise, no matter how entertaining, informative, or well-researched it is, people aren’t likely to consume it.

You need to know your clients and customers well to create good content for them. Start by reaching out to your sales or customer service representatives and find out what clients talk to them about. What is the market asking, what are its concerns, and how can you create content that addresses their questions?

Another thing you must do is perform keyword research. Once you have your content idea, find phrases or questions people ask about it. You can use various tools to find keywords, from free ones like Google Trends and Keyword Planner to paid ones like what SEMrush and Ahrefs offer.

Note as well the keyword volume on the phrases you’ll use. If you are trying to reach more people, you’d want a higher-volume keyword; if the content is further down the funnel, you can choose more specialized, low-volume ones. Keyword research is valuable because it opens you to ideas for other articles. You can expand on your original idea using phrases you discover while looking up keywords to target.

Is It Going to Elicit a Reaction?

Your content must cause people to act. It should evoke emotions or responses in your audience and make them care about what you’re saying. Sometimes this is inherent in the topic. Some subjects are emotionally charged, and people have a definite opinion of them. Anything involving politics or religion is an example of this. 

You don’t have to write about inflammatory or controversial things, though. What’s important is that your article elicits curiosity and satisfaction in the audience. You can also write guides and how-to’s, articles that will help people do things a certain way.

Have Others Written About It?

It’s happened to you: you come up with the best idea for content, one that aligns with your brand, is relevant to your audience, and fits your budget—only to find that another website has written about the same thing! Back to the drawing board for you.

Audiences love novelty, but they generally forgive articles that have the same concept. After all, like what Mark Twain said, “There’s no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible.” People take inspiration from each other’s works all the time. What’s not alright, though, is not adding more value or doing a complete replication.

Incidentally, the second half of Twain’s quote is, “We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope.” If you’re writing about something others have discussed in the past, it’s okay, as long as you look at the idea from your perspective. You can apply this in marketing as well. 

It’s okay to cover topics other websites in your niche have, as long as you can discuss it through your company’s lens. Find other angles that your audience will like. For example, if you are a chocolatier, writing a post about the best-selling chocolate brand during February 14 won’t get you closer to the front page. It’s because there are more than 83 million results for “most popular chocolate bar Valentine’s Day.”

Instead, get more specific—write a post about unique ways to celebrate Valentine’s, and throw in a couple of untypical and creative chocolate boxes. Add your service area as well; for example, “creative Valentine’s Day chocolate” has more than 54 million results, but adding “in Toronto” brings it down to 4.33 million.

Other Ways to Make It Original

Besides adding your spin on the topic or finding a new angle, you can ask the following questions to jump-start your brainstorming session.

How did the audience react to content similar to yours? Did they comment on the blog post or social media update? Sometimes people’s thoughts on a story can be the prompt for a whole other angle to take.

Could you apply this concept in different ways? For example, with the chocolatier in the previous example, there are other ways to talk about uniqueness, Valentine’s, and sweets. You can write about the history of the holiday in the specific neighborhood of Toronto where the shop is, or write about things with origins in the city, like chocolate smash hearts.

Is it possible to show a new perspective using data? One way to do this is by writing about your sales figures for Valentine’s Day and writing a story about how chocolate preferences have changed over the years. You can even write “throwback” posts celebrating the favorite chocolates of the past eras!

Conclusion

It’s challenging to develop content ideas that are unique, relevant to the audience, and aligned with business goals. However, if you are mindful about the entire process, from research to editing, you’ll be able to write articles that resonate with your target market.

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