Karen Hesse shares four questions to ask before you start writing any content.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2019 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report, only 35% of B2B marketers and 27% of B2C marketers have a documented content strategy. Not surprisingly, those companies who have a documented strategy also report being more successful in their content marketing efforts.
So why do so many marketers skip this step? Sometimes, they don’t know what questions to ask to formulate the strategy they need.
Karen Hesse shares four quick questions that you need to ask, and more importantly answer, before you spend time producing any kind of content.
Hi, there. I'm Karen. I'm the CEO of 256, and we're the Content Marketing Institute's Agency of the Year. My top tip is to always remember the four Qs before you start writing any content. So what are the four Qs? Well, these are the four quick questions that you need to ask, and more importantly answer, before you spend time producing any kind of content. So here they are.
Q1, who is it for? But even more importantly, why should they actually care? You need to be specific about who you're creating your content for. This is what we call the persona. The why they should care is really key, and we suggest that you write that down. A lot of companies fall into the trap of writing for our about themselves and then calling that content marketing. So really write down who it's for and answer honestly why they should actually care about that content.
Q2, how do you want them to feel? Content performs best when you have an emotional connection with the reader, they feel heard when they read your content, it's like it was written specifically to answer their questions. What's the emotion that you want to address in your content for your audience? Is it hope? Is it happiness? Will they get that, "Aha, now I get it," moment when they read that content?
Q3, what do you want them to do? The third Q talks to what you actually want your audience to do after they've consumed the content. Do you want them to click through to a landing page, for example? If so, you need to include that as a CTA. Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Again, that is the specific intention of the piece.
And finally, Q4, how do you know that it actually worked? This question pins down the metrics that you'll be tracking. Essentially, what's your content KPI? Is it the dwell time, for example, that shows your content worked, or is it clicks to the website?
So just to recap, the four questions you need to ask before you create any content, your four Qs and my top tip, who's it for, and why should they care? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to do? And how do you know that it worked? If you can answer these four questions before you start producing content assets, you'll save yourself a whole lot of time and you'll get much better results.