This is The Right Way to Select the Format of Your Next Piece of Content
I started noticing that choosing the proper format for a piece of content is a common issue for internet professionals.
Every day, pumping out articles, social media posts, and online videos, you’re likely to get stuck in a habit that leaves you sharing the exact same things every week.
You may not have noticed that something new and exciting could generate more engagement, but your audience has. When you get the hang of being more versatile with your web content, you’ll be the second to reap the benefits.
Step 1: Don’t Forget Your Target Audience
Choosing your next content format has so much to do with who will be viewing it: your audience (the first to reap the benefits). Modern consumers like to have choices in how their facts are delivered, and are most likely to engage with the content that brings the most personal appeal.
So, reflect on the age, financial environment, interests, location, and education level of your target market before you ever get started. For instance, sharing an elaborate infographic with a selection of recent high school graduates probably isn’t going to get the engagement levels that a video or a meme might.
Once you know who they are, you’ll need to figure out what they want.
Step 2: Harvest Data From Your Own Analytics
Here are some places you might find the demographics records that will give you the insight needed to appeal to your audience:
- External & Internal Research Studies
- Blog Comment Streams
- Social Media Accounts
- Census Records
- Your CRM Platform
- Google Analytics
After you’ve completed your customer research the first time, keep record of the information you find so that you can later build upon it.
[Image sourced from Google Analytics dashboard on June 19, 2016]
This way, you won’t have to recreate your research whenever you’re prepared to schedule a brand new content campaign. Research work can be pretty extensive, so you wouldn’t want to throw it away or repeat the same tasks over and over.
Step 3: Don’t Be Afraid to Spend Money
It isn’t always the primary factor involved in selecting a format for your online content material, but your advertising budget is something you could and ought to look at.
To satisfy your content needs, you may be interested in creating everything from scratch and for free, but there are many powerful paid web apps and extensions (you’ve seen them) that can help you deliver a more potent message to your readers.
Stop ignoring them.
Inefficient content production results in a projected $958 million annual loss for B2B companies in the US. If you spend the extra money now, you will begin seeing better ROI, and the investment will ultimately pay off.
Step 4: Find Out What Has Engaged Your Audience in the Past
You don’t have to have a doctorate to know out that it doesn’t need to be fixed if it isn’t broken.
Some people are lucky enough to run several simultaneous campaigns, sharing similar content material across the board, and generate the engagement of their dreams. If your audience is consistently growing, your content is creating conversions, and your goals are being met, keep doing exactly what you’re already doing.
Unless you see an alarming drop in engagement, you can continue sharing similar blog posts for years.
Actually, one of the most popular types of content — the newspaper — has been doing this for hundreds of years and is still in circulation.
It could work for you too.
…Then again, it might not. So, if not, ask yourself what does work, so you can build upon it.
- Did you see a spike in traffic last November?
- What were you sharing that day?
- When were some other times you shared something similar?
- Were there more conversions on those dates as well?
Answering these questions will bring you closer to understanding your audience’s behavior.
Step 5: Share the Right Type of Content for Your Sharing Platforms
Make no mistakes; the format of your content has a huge impact on audience conversion, and the data varies by platform.
For example, consumers referred to a website through Pinterest are 10% more likely to purchase something from the website than visitors who arrive from other social networks — this includes Twitter and Facebook. Pinterest entries may also generate 10% higher purchases than other social referrals. So, if you’re ready to make a sale, developing and sharing a brand new Pin might have a better ROI than sharing a piece of content on Facebook.
Statistics like this are what are going to give you the best insights for projected ROI.
Step 6: No Matter What Format You Choose, Be Relevant
While you’re considering the effect your content will have on customers based on their entry point, this is a great time to think about your target audience’s stage of the “buyer’s journey.”
You won’t always want to share content to make a sale.
Lead nurturing requires a whole lot of work, and your content is the most powerful tool for making it happen. Useful articles that include textual content, pictures, and videos are an exceptional way to build a relationship and educate your target market before you start asking them to buy.
For example, do you think your Facebook followers want to buy now or do they want to share something helpful and entertaining with their friends?
…You better have said that they want to share; Facebook posts aren’t meant for sales, they are meant for contact acquisition and website views. Try to include CTAs on your website that help you turn website visitors into contacts. Later, you can use email marketing to turn them into leads. Then, and only then, should you be trying to make a sale.
Whilst choosing the format for your next piece of content, think of your audience first; what do your readers want? Spend money when you need to, because the ROI can outweigh the price of the investment into your content.
Remember: you need to be delivering your message to readers in the way that best serves them. So, what format will you be using for your next content piece, and how did you come to the decision? Share your experience in the comments.