6 Tips for Developing Interesting and Engaging Content

While content may not be easy to right, however it’s a necessary marketing strategy. It’s important to engage your experts and thought leaders to help develop valuable content for your target market(s).

When developing content you should consider a few things:

  • Products or services most desired by consumers may be affected by seasonality
  • Content should be built for the long term and the short term
  • Readers will only consume content that is easy to understand, fast to read and if it provides value

Here are 6 helpful tips for developing interesting and engaging content.

1. Discovery and Brainstorming Meetings

These meetings can help you plan and discuss the fundamentals for content creation. This includes:

  • Marketing strategy: Discuss what has been working and what hasn’t. Then adjust your content types and distribution strategy accordingly. This will help you become more efficient and increase your results.
  • Ask questions customers do: Use those questions for building content. The whole point is to develop content that will provide interesting and engaging content that will provide value and satisfy a client’s need.
  • Publications trending: Have your content published and linked to the company’s website. Back-linking is an important SEO strategy.

2. Marketing and Industry Research

Research is an essential tool that will help drive your business, marketing and content marketing strategy. It will also help you understand your audience so you can build an engaged online following (including social media). It’s important to stay up to date with information related to your industry. If you know what’s going on, your consumers will be more confident in the company and the content you build. The objective is to become a valued thought leader that people go to for information and ideally your services (or products).

3. Content Calendars

This is a must-have. Planning your content marketing and keeping your plan updated and responsive to market trends (sourced by tip #2) will help you execute your content creation. Personally, I love to use Excel. Be sure to include:

  • Social media (what the post will say, the link it will go to, image it will include, and date/time), traditional content (blog posts, infographics, case studies, etc.), press releases and events.

There are many free templates on the internet – I recommend using these:

– Social Media Calendar: HootSuite or Hubspot

– Editorial Calendar: Hubspot

4. Keywords

Keywords should be researched (in tip # 2), included in your content marketing strategy and included in your content marketing calendar (tip #3). A keyword based content strategy will help you increase your organic online search rankings on terms that your potential clients would be searching for. This will also help you align your topics with the search results for your industry or market. It’s important to remember that keyword-optimized content is fine for SEO, but interesting and engaging content should be based on customers’ expressed desires and questions, which will help you to provide value to your target audience.

5. Be Dynamic and Keep It Fresh!

Stay on top of market trends and more importantly topical content. Be reactive and adjust your content calendar (tip #3) accordingly. Consumers will want new content, but not all the time. Also, consider changing your content format, depending on your marketing and content objectives. Examples include: blog posts, infographics, videos, social media posts, images, contents, ebooks/whitepapers, case studies, brochures, case studies, testimonials and press releases.

6. Feedback & Results 

Last, but definitely not least, you will need to gather customer feedback and tracking your performance. This will help you gather feedback from your market and to adjust your marketing and content strategies moving forward.

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6 Tips for Developing Interesting and Engaging Content

While content may not be easy to right, however it’s a necessary marketing strategy. It’s important to engage your experts and thought leaders to help develop valuable content for your target market(s).

When developing content you should consider a few things:

  • Products or services most desired by consumers may be affected by seasonality
  • Content should be built for the long term and the short term
  • Readers will only consume content that is easy to understand, fast to read and if it provides value

Here are 6 helpful tips for developing interesting and engaging content.

1. Discovery and Brainstorming Meetings

These meetings can help you plan and discuss the fundamentals for content creation. This includes:

  • Marketing strategy: Discuss what has been working and what hasn’t. Then adjust your content types and distribution strategy accordingly. This will help you become more efficient and increase your results.
  • Ask questions customers do: Use those questions for building content. The whole point is to develop content that will provide interesting and engaging content that will provide value and satisfy a client’s need.
  • Publications trending: Have your content published and linked to the company’s website. Back-linking is an important SEO strategy.

2. Marketing and Industry Research

Research is an essential tool that will help drive your business, marketing and content marketing strategy. It will also help you understand your audience so you can build an engaged online following (including social media). It’s important to stay up to date with information related to your industry. If you know what’s going on, your consumers will be more confident in the company and the content you build. The objective is to become a valued thought leader that people go to for information and ideally your services (or products).

3. Content Calendars

This is a must-have. Planning your content marketing and keeping your plan updated and responsive to market trends (sourced by tip #2) will help you execute your content creation. Personally, I love to use Excel. Be sure to include:

  • Social media (what the post will say, the link it will go to, image it will include, and date/time), traditional content (blog posts, infographics, case studies, etc.), press releases and events.

There are many free templates on the internet – I recommend using these:

– Social Media Calendar: HootSuite or Hubspot

– Editorial Calendar: Hubspot

4. Keywords

Keywords should be researched (in tip # 2), included in your content marketing strategy and included in your content marketing calendar (tip #3). A keyword based content strategy will help you increase your organic online search rankings on terms that your potential clients would be searching for. This will also help you align your topics with the search results for your industry or market. It’s important to remember that keyword-optimized content is fine for SEO, but interesting and engaging content should be based on customers’ expressed desires and questions, which will help you to provide value to your target audience.

5. Be Dynamic and Keep It Fresh!

Stay on top of market trends and more importantly topical content. Be reactive and adjust your content calendar (tip #3) accordingly. Consumers will want new content, but not all the time. Also, consider changing your content format, depending on your marketing and content objectives. Examples include: blog posts, infographics, videos, social media posts, images, contents, ebooks/whitepapers, case studies, brochures, case studies, testimonials and press releases.

6. Feedback & Results 

Last, but definitely not least, you will need to gather customer feedback and tracking your performance. This will help you gather feedback from your market and to adjust your marketing and content strategies moving forward.

Affordable Marketing Strategies

How much should I spend on some basic (or I’d say required) marketing strategies? Fees can range depending on the age and size of the company and national, local or global marketing goals. This should help get you started:

Branding
Inexpensive: 99designs can help you design and build up your brand (roughly $400, but it doesn’t include additional collateral: business cards, letter heads, email templates, etc.)
Good: A small agency may charge between $4,000 to $5,000 and should include all necessary collateral
Great: More than $10,000 and this is if you are going to a large agency who is creating your entire brand book, story and collateral, among other assets

Website
Inexpensive: Wix or WordPress can be a do-it-yourself website and can be free (minus time and effort)
Good: For a WordPress site designed to look like your brand, it will usually cost you around $3,500 (or more if you need a shopping cart)
Great: At least $15,000 – the price will depend on the objective, functionality, automation, design, etc.

Social media
Inexpensive: Do-it-yourself or hire an intern
Good: Between $1,500 and $2,500 for a small agency
Great: More than $4,000, which would be contingent on the number of platforms, listening software, amount of real-time interaction and PR integration (great tactic)

Advertising
Inexpensive: Word of mouth, tell your family and friends!
Good: Some social media marketing (between $300 and $500/month) and targeted display advertising ($500/month)
Great: Full social, outdoor, print, digital, pay-per-click will set you back at least $5,000/month (or more), but you’ll definitely have a presence

Content
Inexpensive: Do-it-yourself or hire an intern
Good: A freelancer platform like Odesk.com (you can name your own price)
Great: Agency content usually runs $250 and $1,000 per piece depending on word count and graphics

Events
Inexpensive: Show up and network at other people’s events
Good: Cross-market with another brand with the same target audience
Great: Full events strategy. For production teams, small event start at around $5,000

While marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all these tactics should help you establish some presence and budget accordingly!

Selecting the Right (or Best) Marketing Budget

The timeless question. “How much should I spend, when I want to market, advertise or promote my new….?”

Ultimately, it all comes down to planning and budget. You have to plan, segment and execute with strategies that will not only achieve you objectives, but align with your budget.

Here are a few tips for navigating that elusive marketing budget:

1. Marketing Math
Do you know what your budget is?

New companies: For companies that have been in business for 1 to 5 years, I’d suggest using 12% to 20% of your gross revenue or projected revenue on marketing. If you’re under a year old, you still need to build and develop your business and clout before spending budget on marketing.

Established companies: For those companies that have been in business more than five years and have some market share/brand equity, we suggest allocating between 6 and 12 percent of your gross revenue or projected revenue.

While this may seem like a lot, remember new and emerging brands are looking to capture new market share and develop brand recognition with an audience that doesn’t know who you are. Once the brand is established and a portion of the market is brand-conscious you can reallocate funds accordingly.

2. “I need to grow my brand to make money, but I have no money to help do that.”

Branding isn’t easy and you’ll make some mistakes along the way. This is why it’s very important to build and fund this strategy accordingly. Just like any large project, it will take time, effort and money. Really, when is the last time you built something free that has endurance? It’s also important to make sure your dollars are spent wisely and tied tightly to specific deliverables. Don’t waste money building the wrong thing. Aim to set objectives and execute on the right tactics the first time.

3. The Marketing “Must Haves”
You need these, it’s as simple as that. The marketing mix (and spend) may differ, but you should plan for all of these.

  • Branding
  • Website
  • Content
  • Social media
  • Events
  • Public Awareness
  • Local Advertising