• Neva Bryan

Why Your Content Isn’t Working and Three Ways To Improve It

Does your company have a blog? How is it using it? What about its social media accounts? What’s the messaging?

You’re probably not engaging your audience if you’re using these platforms to post product specs, sales specials, news releases, business hours, employee promotions and hires, or the CEO’s off-the-cuff remarks masquerading as thought leadership.

People don’t want to see a sales pitch in a blog or on Instagram. It feels intrusive, like having a salesperson come into the living room. Most people don’t care who got promoted or moved to another branch of your business. This type of content doesn’t engage an audience. They tune it out or turn it off.

Post with purpose. Develop a content strategy. To do that, you must understand why content matters.

Good content creates a sense of trust. It positions you as a topical expert or industry authority. It gives people a reason to come back to your website or your Facebook page. Ultimately, it keeps them engaged enough to send them farther down the sales funnel.

Here are three ways you can create good content:

1. Offer a solution to a problem. When you help your customers or potential customers solve a problem, you add value to their lives. That doesn’t mean your post should be an overt call to use your product or service because it’s the solution. Instead, you can show them you understand their unique problems and position your business as a partner worthy of their trust. Marriott does this with some of its content. Take a look at this article about AI tools for time-crunched travelers. What’s the problem? Business travelers don’t have a lot of time on their schedules. These AI tools are the solution. Within this post, Marriott doesn’t mention its hotels or reserving rooms. Instead, it’s acting as a trustworthy partner giving weary business travelers a little advice to make their lives easier.

2. Instruct. Sometimes customers need to know how to do something. They appreciate step-by-step instructions. Visit the Sherwin-Williams website, and you’ll find all kinds of instructional videos, such as how to paint kitchen cabinets, how to create a reading nook, and how to give your bathroom vanity a quick update. You can bet people are sharing some of this content on Pinterest.

3. Tell a story. Human beings love stories because they make us happy. Some scientific studies show that stories can cause our brains to create oxytocin, the feel-good hormone. That helps us build genuine connections with each other. Take a look at the blog on YETI Coolers’ website. You’ll find stories about a Tennessee BBQ pitmaster, surfers promoting breast cancer awareness, and a rural Alabama baseball team. None of these stories mention YETI products, but they serve the purpose of highlighting the company’s values. They give the audience a sense of what matters to the company. They establish a human connection.

Take a hard look at your company’s content. Does it have a purpose? Put some thought into your blog content and social media posts. Companies with regularly updated blogs have better website traffic than those who don’t.

If you don’t have time to do this, try hiring a content creator. The right person can create thoughtful, intentional pieces that grab and hold an audience’s attention.

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