How to Create Content People Care About and Want to Read

How do you become a thought leader in your industry? Short answer: You create content people care about reading! But, how do you do that? Julie Neumark and Holly Bowyer, founders of Media & Marketing Minds recently led a webinar for rellify covering this topic and more! Read on for some highlights about how to create content people care about reading. These insights come from our live webinar, so be sure to watch the webinar recording in its entirety for more helpful information and a Q&A session!

Why in the World is the World of Content so important?

David Beebe says, “Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” So content marketing is all about understanding what your potential customers or clients are about. It’s a two-way conversation – you don’t want to only talk about yourself. Learn, engage, and respond to the information that your customers are looking for. Understand what problem you and your company are solving. If people are coming to your site and reading your content they want to know what you can help them with. What insight and guidance do you offer outside of just your product? Don’t just talk about your product offerings. You’ve got to keep up with the trends: 70% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing (HubSpot, 2020). If you’re part of the 30% that doesn’t invest in content marketing, you’re missing out on great opportunities to leverage your company’s knowledge and engage with your audience.

Content marketing 101: Laying the foundation 

These five elements are critical when it comes to learning how to create content that matters.

1. Content brief

Create a document that holds the title, the audience, the description of the content piece, a detailed outline of the content (with supporting points, the intro, and the takeaways to set you up for success in the draft phase), and a timeline of the deliverables.

2. Story arc

Let’s highlight the story arc. I’m sure you’re all familiar with this from grade school, but if you think about it, everything that we as human beings (with our brains hardwired for stories) are engaged in, follows this story arc. Whether it’s the latest thing you’re binging on Netflix or a piece of B2B content, it can be made more engaging by following this story arc.

3. Recording and transcribing

A lot of content creation we’ve been seeing involves interviews. It’s super helpful to have tools to record and transcribe verbal or video interviews. (That’s what we did at rellify for this article, in fact!).

4. SEO basics

Finding out what your audience is interested in is something that rellify focuses on with their AI solution. This is huge. You can’t ignore SEO basics and beyond. At the bare minimum pay attention to things like the title length, images, meta tags, headers within your content, and keyword research.

5. Promotion

Unfortunately, content is not like the Field of Dreams, where if you write it they will come. You have to promote it, whether it’s earned, owned, or paid promotion.

Thought leadership content that people will want to read

We should aspire to have people excited about our content! The key to this is standing out. Here are different types of content and tips on how to create content that’s unique.

1. Personal narrative

Definition: Content created about one’s own story, focusing on personal growth, reflections, and life lessons. Use Case: An uninspiring tale of onboarding with Jerome Deroy In this video, Jerome Deroy, CEO of Narativ, used his own experience of onboarding at this first job to serve as a story of what not to do and why not to do it. Narativ specializes in business storytelling training to help organizations develop effective methods for onboarding, leadership, and sales. The personal narrative is applicable in all scenarios – you don’t have to be the CEO of a company. Applying it to you, ask yourself:
  • What are the pain points of my audience?
  • Have I ever experienced anything like that?
  • If so, what was my specific challenge, solution, and result?
  • If not, what are some challenges I have experienced and how did I work to resolve them? How can I relate this to my audience’s pain points?

2. Leveraging data currency

Definition: Using data to inform the development of a thought-leadership approach to content and beyond. Use Case: Development of a brand, blog, and content Momentive, formerly known as SurveyMonkey, wanted to firmly establish itself in the enterprise space as a leader in agile experience management. They used research tools to create:
  • a new brand based on data and insights
  • a blog – Reshape
  • new content
When Momentive rebranded, they came up with a blog (which is really a new product), Reshape, which talks about all of the things they want to stand for in terms of using data appropriately and understanding trends in the marketplace. All of the things they’re doing around their brand and their content is about understanding who their customers are and developing thought leadership content to respond to the needs of customers. Applying it to you, ask yourself:
  • What is the data telling me?
  • How does it relate to what my audience cares about?
  • Where are the “aha moments” in the data?
  • Like a puzzle, how do the data points fit together?
  • How does the data relate to my product offering?
  • What kind of content can I create based on the data?

3. Subject matter expert (SME) interviews

Definition: Content created from:
  • in-depth and valuable information
  • both proprietary and brand agnostic subject matter
  • intel from experts on complex topics
Use Case: Gathering insights, knowledge, and education from a seasoned expert Hulu launched a new self-serve platform into the market and needed to educate small businesses on the advertising opportunities of streaming TV. Hulu’s Director of Ad Sales was interviewed to share her insights about the power of storytelling through Streaming TV advertising and how it has the ability to generate valuable brand awareness, which can be the foundation of increasing sales and creating better business outcomes. Applying it to you, ask yourself:
  • Where is there a need in my brand and/or industry for simplification?
  • What are the topics and terms that deserve a breakdown?
  • How can I use internal expertise to educate the market?
  • Who are external people that I can tap to help educate my audience?
SME Some ideas for SME interviews are:
  1. Q&A with an expert inside your organization. Sit down and have a conversation with them, then from your conversation write an article.
  2. Interview an expert and put it as a byline for that particular expert.
  3. Use either of these methods with an expert outside of your company.

4. Industry education

This type is a bit of an outlier from the last three. Data Storytelling Definition: Content created that is:
  • purely educational in nature
  • showcasing the brand as a thought-leader and an educator
  • steers away from promotion of the brand’s product or service
Use Case: Educators in a complex and ever-changing space The ad tech space is nuanced, complicated, and evolving at the speed of light. As newer players, ShareThis is following a strategy of educating their audience on the challenges and trends to position themselves as a trusted and knowledgeable source of information. The ShareThis blog is 100% educational in nature. This method is advantageous in that over time you will build trust with your audience to be seen as a thought leader. Don’t be afraid to give your insight away without promoting your brand. Applying it to you, ask yourself:
  • What are your customers’ FAQs? Talk to your sales and customer experience teams.
  • How can I turn confusion on its head and create clarity?
  • Who are the influencers in my brand’s space? What is the buzz? How can I break it down and educate my audience?

How to create content that lasts

Are you ready to apply your knowledge of how to create content that resonates with your audience and performs well on SERPs? Or do you still want more insights? Be sure to watch the full webinar recording to learn even more about how to become a thought leader through your content marketing.