You know you need to publish quality content. But how do you go about it? In this week’s article, we reveal some of Ann Handley’s favourite tips ...

3 steps to better content marketing

You know you need to publish quality content. But how do you go about it? In this week’s article, we reveal some of Ann Handley’s favourite tips for content marketers.   

At Content Marketing World in Cleveland, author and content marketing expert Ann Handley shared some of her best tips. She also revealed a simple content marketing framework to ensure you publish quality content. Follow these tree steps to improve your content marketing efforts.

#1. Choose your goal

Content marketing can serve different businesses goals. For instance, the method can:

  • Raise awareness.
  • Position your brand.
  • Increase demand for a product or service.
  • Build loyalty with existing customers.

Which one will you focus on? As Sonia Simone points out: ”No single piece of content can meet all of your goals for you.” It sounds obvious, but it can easily be forgotten. Hence establish the goal before you sit down to write.

#2. Write to one person

After you’ve defined your goal, it’s time to find that one person you want to write for in your marketing. In marketing jargon, this is known as a “persona”. Creating a ”persona” doesn’t have to be difficult. Imagine having a cup of coffee with your favourite client. See her in front of you as you type.

With a “persona”, your content will become more powerful and attract the right kind of audience to your business. Who do you write for?

#3. Communicate at the right time

Timing is essential today. Here are a few things to consider before you distribute your content:

  • At what state of mind is your reader in?
  • Are they reading your blog on the commute?
  • Are they listening to your podcast?
  • Or catching up the newsletter first thing in the morning?

Study when you get the best open and click through rates for the newsletter. What time should you tweet, post to Facebook, and send emails? Have the courage to ignore best practice if your tests show that your audience prefers something else.

Experiment with different days and times. Do more of what works. And remember to sharpen your headlines to get more readers and grow your business.

Be a writer first, marketer second

Writers always put the audience first. Authors want their readers to feel something after they’ve read a text. Marketers are experts at communicating benefits of a certain product or service. They want the audience to take an action and establish a relationship with the brand.

Ann Handley’s advice is to be a writer first, and a marketer second. Ask yourself these three questions to improve your content marketing:

  • 1 goal: what’s the goal with this specific piece of content?
  • 1 person: who am I writing this for?
  • 1 time: When will this person most likely consume your content?

What are some of your favourite content marketing tips? Let us know by tweeting to @spoon_content.