Creating original content is not the easiest thing in the world to do. In fact, it can be really hard. But the reason that businesses put their resources toward creating content is to grow through new leads and customers.

So whether you’re just starting out or even if you have an entire team dedicated to content marketing, we all need to make sure we follow the number one rule: who are we writing this for? The answer is people. Humans.

Pictured: Humans.

This may seem pretty obvious, but many businesses seem to forget that their customers are in fact, human beings. They aren’t going to just go out and spend on random crap they’ve never seen or heard of before. People need to be coaxed and cajoled into the brands they will eventually love.

Great content needs to appeal to and satisfy their feelings, needs and opinions. Spewing a list of product features in a brochure doesn’t solve a problem or make someone feel at ease and that’s why we’re listing some of the characteristics that will help you develop and keep your marketing content on the right path – directed at your customer personas.

Trait #1: It’s Trustworthy

Nobody likes advertising and if your content feels like advertising, then it’s much easier to tune it out. Your content needs to be honest and at the same time needs to empathize with the reader’s situation. This is why those quick tip lists like 41 Creative DIY Home Hacks that you see shared on Facebook all the time are so popular. These are easily digestible pieces of content that solve problems. Your business content needs to work the same way. Find out what issues your personas are having and create content around those issues. Then you begin to establish a repertoire of being the local expert.

Trait #2: It’s Backed Up with Cold Hard Facts

Like we just said, no one likes to be marketed to, but you still need good proof to support your work. Again, evidence doesn’t mean boasting that your product is 75% more efficient than your competitor. People expect you to say that. But if your content is supported by case studies, links or quotes from outside sources, it can help further cement your position as an expert.

Dr. Jonas Von Dragonforce from the Awesomesauce Institute in the Netherlands agrees.

Trait #3: It’s For Someone Specific

One of the most common problems we see with businesses is that their content is written for them and not their customers. We were even guilty of this ourselves in the beginning. We had originally launched this blog several years ago and wondered why it was performing so terribly until we realized that hey – our personas are not coders and designers, they’re businesses owners, managers and entrepreneurs. They could care less about updates to Apple operating systems. If we’re supposed to be the experts on marketing, then we’d better have some content to support that and the same goes for your business.

Trait #4: It Offers Great Value

60% of the sales process is already completed before you even speak to your lead, so it’s really important that your content is able to persuade leads to that point of the cycle. Focus on content that will win those personas over and provide it to them with no strings attached. During the initial attract phase it’s imperative that those personas feel the royal treatment. No pay walls, no subscription fees – you want to be as transparent and valuable as possible.

Like we said in the very first line of this article, creating original content is hard. If you’re just starting out and you’re looking for additional tips on how to get that content marketing machine rolling on all cylinders, try our ebook:









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