Modern audiences are not easy to capture with buzzing social media feeds, chock-full email inboxes, and little time to spare. They need nothing less than stellar content – which shifting marketing trends only make harder to pinpoint. To help you tackle this challenge, here’s how to create content that stands out in 2024 and beyond.
3 Big Benefits of Solid Content and Robust Content Marketing
Before “how,” let us briefly stress “why.” Solid content does not simply perform well in itself, but it also comes with overarching marketing benefits. Consolidating it down, here are a few big benefits of solid content and robust content marketing:
1. It Fuels Your Email Campaigns
The first and perhaps most notable marketing challenge lies in how you can draw in your customers. Great content doesn’t just enhance your SEO; it can also fuel your email campaigns.
As a channel, email boasts a tremendous ROI and ample room for personalization, which makes it an excellent fit for most content marketing strategies. However, to reap the benefits of email marketing, you will need to fuel it with informative, valuable, and personalized content.
2. It Secures Conversions
The conversion phase comes after the lead acquisition, which presents an array of challenges. Here, too, it’s great content that best spearheads conversion-minded campaigns and concludes successful customer journeys.
Should you delve into Landing Page Optimization (LPO) as well, the two overlap somewhat. For instance, you may convert blog posts into landing pages, which can then craft journeys to conversions.
3. It Builds Brand Trust
Finally, brand trust remains a crucial marketing metric both before and after conversions. Research confirms that brand trust incites purchases and enhances customer retention. This is why many of the most effective customer retention strategies are built around building relationships and trust with customers.
Brand trust is multifaceted and will also hinge on factors like web design and product page transparency. Still, compelling content can foster immediate and long-term trust – arguably better than most other marketing elements.
5 Ways to Create Content That Stands Out in 2024 and Beyond
Creating valuable content is a challenge not to be taken lightly. Before you publish content, you may want to keep the following in mind:
1. Know Your Audience
There is no universal blueprint for effective content. There are best practices and universal qualities, but content ultimately needs to resonate with specific, unique audiences.
Put differently, what works for one business will often not work for the next because their audiences will differ. Content creation needs to answer a very specific question; who are you marketing to?
Failing to research your audience and not knowing who you’re targeting or creating content for are some common content marketing mistakes. Instead, consider common audience segmentation types to craft your audience persona, such as:
- Demographic: age, gender, education, income, etc.
- Psychographic: personality, interests, values, etc.
- Behavioral: online behavior, interaction history, etc.
- Geographic: location, and characteristics unique to it
In addition, you may acquire audience insights and use data to generate content ideas through such tools as:
- Google Analytics
- Google Trends
- Website Heat Maps and Click Maps
- Built-in Social Media Insights Tools, like Facebook’s Audience Insights
The two should allow you to personalize content to best cater to your audiences. This type of personalization improves and enhances content performance.
2. Format Your Content
Personalization aside, all audiences value well-formatted, digestible content – as does Google in terms of SEO. To create content that stands out, you must strive for this universally beneficial quality.
An initial way to approach formatting comes in simple SEO guidelines. Among other on-page SEO tips, these include:
Use headings and subheadings within your content. Follow proper sequence across h2s, h3s, and so on, and have your subheadings reflect your key subject. Not only do subheadings make content scannable, which most audiences appreciate, but proper heading format is one of the ways to make your website more accessible.
Although it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, a good rule is keeping your smaller subsections around 300 words or fewer. If a subsection is longer, it may be a good idea to review it for edits or break things down into further subsections with appropriate subheadings.
Use a balance of subheadings and bullet lists. If you need to clarify or add context with a few sentences, a subheading can sometimes be the better option. With simpler concepts, use bullet lists wherever appropriate. This can help make your content more digestible and easier on the eyes. You may also use them to break down longer subsections.
Another factor lies in content structure. Here you may consider a logical, enticing flow of information, such as:
- Hook: introduce the subject briefly, outline its importance, and hint at solutions. Hooks, or “grabbers,” will often make or break content.
- Story: craft a story around your subject, throughout which you explore it in due depth. A well-crafted story will retain your audience’s attention.
- Offer: if your content is informational, offer your audiences actionable advice. If it’s promotional, offer them subject-specific products or services that solve their problems.
Content formatting will help allure and retain audiences in both senses, helping your content achieve its purpose. As it does, following SEO principles will also help get your content noticed through better search engine visibility.
3. Choose Quality Over Quantity
It’s equally notable you don’t need undue content length to create content that stands out. Instead, you may best focus on content quality and addressing your audiences’ needs; ie: meet search intent.
“Word count is not indicative of quality. Some pages have a lot of words that say nothing. Some pages have very few words that are very important & relevant to queries.”
Indeed, content length may allow for more value – if it does serve to add value and not needlessly fluff content. However, it is not a ranking factor in itself, nor is it a quality that audiences universally appreciate.
To lean into content quality, you may:
- Focus on your keywords: keyword research will allow you to best target your audiences’ needs and position your content against your competition’s.
- Keep your content actionable: offer insightful, actionable advice to make your content truly valuable.
- Leverage visuals: where appropriate, add unique, relevant visuals to enhance readability – and possibly rank in Google image searches.
These are only conceptual guidelines, of course. Content personalization is always crucial, so your insights should best dictate how to add value to your content. These insights can also help you update and refresh your content as needed to keep your old content working for you.
4. Focus on Your Key Customers and Products
Your content should always serve to map out a customer journey for your audiences to follow. Thus, once you create content that stands out, you may put it to use toward that end.
To do so, you may begin with the Pareto principle, otherwise known as the “80/20 rule” or “the law of the vital few.” This principle asserts that 80% of outcomes result from 20% of all causes. While not absolute, this principle does see various marketing applications.
In the context of content marketing, you may find that 20% of your customers generate 80% of your sales. Perhaps you may find that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your products. The numbers may not perfectly match, but the principle may hold true.
If it does, you can adjust your content to best cater to your most valuable audiences and products. Value-based customer segmentation can help with the former, while product sales can determine the latter.
In both cases, you may further optimize your content by focusing on your own “vital few.” Still, how strongly you commit to this principle will depend on you and what your insights dictate.
5. Monitor Your Content’s Performance
Finally, having touched on insights manifold, keeping an attentive eye on your content’s performance warrants its own subsection. It may feel redundant, but neglecting to do so remains a widespread mistake businesses make with their website strategy.
Content plays a fundamental role in SEO by providing more opportunities for your website to rank higher in search engines and for potential customers to find you. It fuels social media marketing by driving brand awareness and engagement. Ultimately, it drives content marketing, which directly drives revenue – so you must create content that stands out consistently over time.
As such, it’s vital that you continuously monitor your content. You may use Google Analytics, website heat maps, and any other analytics tools to do so. As you do, examine which content:
- Gets the most views and shares
- Encourages the most engagement
- Converts the best
- Performs the worst
Content creation is a continuous process, which always offers room for optimizations. To make data-driven decisions on your content and content strategies, you must always have such insights in hand.
Create Content That Stands Out; Personalized, Readable, and Valuable
To summarize, modern audiences are equal parts busy and wary of “salesy” content. Their time is short, their trust is wavering, and their purchasing options are more plentiful.
Your content needs to be personalized, readable, and valuable to entice audiences and rise above the competition. It needs to answer relevant questions and inform concisely, always focused on your unique audiences.
These are the principles to keep in mind if you want to create content that stands out in 2024 and beyond.