YouTube is currently (as of December 2021 for you archive readers) running an advertising campaign with the slogan “How to.” Searching “how to” on YouTube, Google, Twitter or any form of search engine reveals countless autofill results, from “how to tie a tie” to “how to ruin Christmas.” Regardless of the “how to” answer being searched, the common variable is that people are looking to be educated in some form. The same goes for audiences everywhere looking to learn more about your business, from B2B to B2C and beyond, so here are three tips to keep in mind when you want to provide the right value.
Listen First, Create Content Second
Before you write a blog, white paper or social media post, you’ll need to dig around and learn your audience’s main objectives and pain points. What are their frequently asked questions? Is there a common drop-off page on your website? Does one product get more attention than another? Once you’ve established these questions, create a list and answer them. Experiment with your content, watch how you say it and where you say it — and see what resonates.
Show Don’t Sell
In writing, you want to pay attention to the “show don’t tell” structure. Great storytellers bridge technical content with real-world relatability, answering readers’ questions and providing useful information. Notice how I didn’t mention how great [insert company’s product] is for the 100th time? It is OK to share information regarding your services or products, but the majority of your content needs to connect the audience in an authentic and helpful way — without overtly selling your products or services. Does Apple just “sell phones”? No, Apple “strives to bring the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals, and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software, and internet offerings.”
Discover Your Difference – and Deliver on it
If your business is in a saturated market, then what you want to share has likely already been said. The differentiator is how your company conveys it. Add flair to your content and don’t be afraid to try something new. Video, infographics and tweet threads are just some of the ways you can spice up text-heavy content, just make sure you don’t get lost in the medium and are providing value first and foremost.
So, if you were to search “how to create content that delivers the right value,” the results would undoubtedly communicate the advantages of listening to your intended audience, showing them the benefits without selling and differentiating yourself. At the end of the day, you should be creating content that will help your customer/reader/audience along on their journey, whether it’s to make a purchase decision or simply to look for help.
If you would like help separating the value of your offerings from the fluff, MAPR’s team of storytellers is here to guide you through it.