Content writers and marketers often talk about wanting to publish high-quality content. We also talk about the importance of being consistent. Here are three takes on what consistency means:
- The actual content itself needs to be consistent. So, we need to follow conventions about how we treat words, headings, links, and so on.
- Our messaging needs to be consistent across all platforms so people can recognize and identify with our brand.
- Our output needs to be consistent. That is, we want to publish content on all our channels on a regular basis. People identify with brands when they can count on us to produce high-quality content that is useful and resonates with them.
Given those three big “wants,” how can you improve your output so it is consistent? The key is to set up systems so you can simplify the process. Here are five things you can that will help you to develop those systems so you can publish high-quality content consistently.
- Know your audience
- Set clear content goals
- Use a style guide
- Use templates
- Know your topics in advance
Know your audience
What happens when you don’t know who you’re writing to? You spray content up on the web without considering who needs or wants it. Very few content marketers are successful with this kind of strategy.
That’s why the first rule about content writing is to know your audience, which isn’t an easy task.
First, start with an assumption about who is in your audience. Your assumption may change over time as you mature in your business. Your assumption should give you a clear a picture of who you’re trying to reach.
Lisane Basquiat of Hera Hub Carlsbad says this is what you need to know to have a clear understanding of your audience:
- Name, job title, and job description
- Goals, challenges, and pain points
- Objections and role in the purchase or donation process
- Media use
Set clear content goals
- Measureable. You need clear benchmarks to measure how well your content goal is performing.
- Achievable. Given your available resources, what’s achievable? Can you gain 100 new followers or 10,000?
- Simple. A simple goal is specific and targeted. So, you need to be clear about what you’re doing, how you’re going to do it, and for whom.
- Task oriented. Scheduled tasks make a goal actionable. Knowing the individual steps that will make it possible to achieve your goal.
Use a style guide
Liz Fraley of Single Sourcing Solutions says you need a style guide:
To provide a consistent experience for end users no matter who creates the content or how it is delivered
The key phrase here is “consistent experience.” You want your audience to experience your brand in the same way across all platforms.
While they may seem like a bother, style guides actually save time. They catalog all those details anyone needs to know if they create content for your brand. This includes voice, tone, graphics, word usage, title tags, and so on.
Templates belong with your style guide. They specify how your content will look, feel, and sound.
A basic template or outline is one that has a beginning, middle, and end. That doesn’t give you much to go on, though.
You need to be specific about how you will treat each element in a content type, for example, in a blog post. Blog elements include title, first sentence, first paragraph, section headings, call to action, internal links, external links, images (file naming conventions, size, resolution), and meta tags for both the article and any images and graphics. You should also consider how you want the content written, for example, pain points, solutions, and outcomes.
By creating a template in this way, you can easily hand over content creation to someone else.
Know your topics in advance
You can create more content when you know your blog topics and themes in advance.
To find out what you’re going to write about and distribute, you need to go back to what does your audience need? What kinds of content will help them on their journey from website visitor to customer for life?
You might also like 5 Essential Elements of an Email Newsletter and What I Learned by Writing from a Dog’s Point of View.
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