Before I get started breaking down the anatomy of a great piece of content, I want to highlight an important point.
Good content gets people in the door. Great content makes them pull out their wallets.
This is a very important distinction to make. We are surrounded by a lot of good content. Online content creators (this is practically everyone online) are fighting to be discovered in a sea of damn good content. But good content isn’t good enough to get the job done. If your content doesn’t inspire your audience to take action beyond a click or alike it is not great content.
That’s not to be taken as every piece of content should sell, sell, sell, but a combination of your best content should prime your audience to buy.
Your content needs to be great! Great content encourages your audience to share it, subscribe to your list, register for your webinars and challenges. Great content makes people take the next step. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sign-up button or a buy now button. Your content instills trust in your audience. That is why you should always strive to make great content and get out of the realm of relying on content that’s just alright.
Content isn’t limited to just blog posts. Content is any medium (written, video, audio, or pictures) used to tell your brand’s story.
Creating stellar content isn’t hard.
Here’s a breakdown of the anatomy of a great piece of content:
We consume with our eyes first. Your eyes are the gatekeepers of your content consumption. If a piece of content doesn’t hold visual appeal (drawing us in with clever images or graphics), we’re less likely to interact with it because we’ve already made a judgment about its quality or usefulness.
Don’t let poor visuals scare off your audience or color their opinion about your brand before they’ve had a chance to consume your content.
If you’re design challenged or unable to hire someone, use a design program with pre-made templates. Canva is an excellent option. They have many free or low-cost templates for everything from social media graphics to infographics. Canva also has a free design school that will teach you the basics of design.
There’s no excuse to have anything less than stellar visuals.
Poor graphics aren’t the only thing killing your content’s visual appeal. This also includes formatting. Good text formatting can make the difference between someone reading your content or not reading it.
To increase your audience’s engagement with your written content, use proper formatting rules. This includes simple things like making sure your body text is uniform in size. Help your readers get through your longer content by using headings and bullet points where appropriate. Break up huge chunks of text by creating shorter paragraphs (try to keep them around 4 sentences or less).
The goal is to make your work look well thought out and high quality at a glance so more people interact with it.
Relevancy is huge! Gone are the days of blogging or creating videos just to have something to publish. Is the content that you are producing relevant to both your audience and overall brand? If it isn’t, don’t publish it.
Your favorite brands have this on lock. They are hyper-aware of what they’re audience wants from them and they continuously produce great content to keep them coming back.
The content that you are creating tells your audience who your brand is for. People need to relate their struggles/ pains/ issues to your solutions. If they can’t they’ll click over to the next person. Make sure you stay on brand.
If you’re a health and wellness coach, your Instagram feed should reflect that lifestyle. It should include photos of you working out, cooking healthy meals, and tips for how your client can get started transitioning to a healthy lifestyle. It should not be full of fast food photos and screenshots of what you’re binge-watching on Netflix. Tighten up your feed.
Before you create your next piece of content, ask yourself, does this speak to my audience? If the answer is no, don’t publish it.
The easiest way to gain your audience’s trust is to help them solve their problems. In fact, that is the exact reason you are in business, you saw a problem and you created a solution to fix it. You can (and should) be using your content to help your audience achieve small wins.
So how exactly do you help your audience solve their problems with your content? By making sure your content is actionable.
Actionable content gives your audience a take away that they can practice or apply right now. They don’t need to wait weeks or jump through hoops to get the answer, you lay out all the details right there. Providing these quick fixes shows that you get results.
Here are 3 examples of actionable content:
- Writing a step by step breakdown showing beginning bloggers how you batch schedule your social media updates for the week
- Creating a short video demonstrating how to do a burpee for someone trying to get fit
- Taking a picture of all the ingredients included in the recipe of your delicious vegan smoothie bowl with a short caption sharing how to assemble it for people who are interested in trying out a vegan breakfast
These are simple and quick solutions to minor problems that build your audience’s trust in your abilities.
INCLUDES A CALL TO ACTION
A great piece of content tells your audience what to do next. Don’t leave them hanging, give them some direction. This can be subscribing to your youtube channel, downloading a content upgrade, or buying your new ebook.
There are plenty of options but the point is you want your audience to do something while you have their attention (and trust me you won’t for long). Including a call to action helps move interested members of your audience up a level on the relationship spectrum.
Calls to action are a great way to deepen your relationship with your audience because engaged members are looking to take the next step. And if you plan your funnels and product paths right the next step might just be a sale.
As I mentioned before producing great content is a fast way to gain influence and that coveted trust factor from your audience. If you really want to stand out in a sea of sameness, make sure your content is stellar.
Now that you know what a great piece of content looks like, how does your content measure up?
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