The secret to creating must-read content.
Last week I shared my formula for creating content that breaks through the noise.
To save you a click, it has to be insightful, relevant, and actionable.
First we tackled insight. This week we’re unpacking relevance.
Relevance can be tough to pin down, so the best way to determine if something is relevant for your audience is to ask yourself: Is this important to them right now?
If you want to grab their attention, it’s best to latch on to something that’s already on their mind.
Of course, the trick is that you must know your audience well to get this right.
Think of it like creating targeted advertisements. Once the big data players (Google, Amazons, etc.) knew that my wife and I were having a baby, they started offering me deals on everything for infants. Diapers, burp cloths, onesies and more—all their ads found me. BUT, had they sent them two years ago, they would have been wildly irrelevant and ineffective.
But they know what I care about right now (and yes, it’s a sippy cup), and so they provide content that aligns with my needs.
Luckily you don’t need to know every personal detail about your audience to create relevant content. But you DO need to know what they care about; their desires and challenges, how they feel about those issues, and when they care about them.
If you don’t consider relevance in your content planning, you’re destined to create content that collects more digital cobwebs than visitors.
And the difference between something being relevant and not can be a matter of days or hours.
For example, at Gong we sell to salespeople who have a very calendar-based focus. At the beginning of the month they dive into booking meetings and filling their pipeline. At the end of the month, that focus (mostly) shifts to the back burner so they can spend their energy on closing deals in-month.
That’s why I align our Gong content calendar and its related CTAs with the goals that sellers (i.e., our audience) are trying to reach.
Let's run through a couple more examples:
If your company sells to tax professionals, you know that Feb-April is insanely busy. So you might consider publishing something in early Feb titled, “5 Ways to stay sane and meet your deadlines during tax season.” Then you could have a follow-up article in May titled, “How to create new clients (and sales) during slow seasons.”
Or if you sell to mom and pop restaurant owners and you know that many are closed on Mondays, you could publish “How to make money while your restaurant is closed” on a Monday when they’re most likely to see it.
These topics are always important to them, but at particular times, they become burning issues.
In short, timing is everything.
Even if your content is insightful, posting it at an irrelevant time prevents you from stealing your audience’s attention.
Plan your content around your reader’s schedule by asking yourself: Does my reader care about this right now?
If not, consider posting it later or tweaking it so it matters today.
Get this right, and your audience will think you’re reading their mind and thank you for helping them.
Ignore it, and you risk losing your audience to another content outlet that gets them.
Next week we’ll finish this series by covering my personal favorite: how to make your content actionable.
Holler at you next Saturday,
PS: In just three days we crossed 1k Reeders! That's huge! Thank you for rockin' with me. To celebrate, I'm thinking we do a virtual hangout for the group where we can talk shop and share ideas. If that sounds interesting, reply "YES" and what you wanna cover. Let's do this.