Why Content Needs Focus and PurposeOct 11, 2021
By Claire Winter.
We’ve all been there. We’ve read an engaging headline and reviewed the content only to find it’s not about what the headline suggested at all. This is frustrating for readers who are excited to read more. It’s like suggesting that a horror fan should read a book only to discover when reading it; it’s actually a romance novel. There is this misconception that the more you try to cram into your content, the more likely you are to gain more views and followers. But the truth is if you overfill your content with too many ideas, the less effective your readers will find it, and your target audience is lost. So how can we make sure our content has both focus and purpose?
Firstly, you need a plan. Think about your subject; why are you passionate about it? Who is your target audience? What do you want them to learn when they look at your content? What format do you want your content to be? These are all small but fundamental questions that need answering before you begin creating any content.
Secondly, once you’ve made your plan, you need to stick with it. Don’t start ‘procrasti-posting’, which involves staring at your laptop and not posting anything at all! The longer you keep delaying your deadlines with unprioritised jobs, the more pressure you are putting on yourself to complete the task, and the less time you will have to ensure your work is at the standard you want it to be. Figure out when you are most productive and time block time to write and create content.
Thirdly, you need to think about what topics you can discuss with your subject matter. It’s essential to write about a relevant topic. I host regular quarterly content planning workshops, which helps business owners map out content pertinent to their audience and their pain points. Likewise, it is also essential to show that you don’t just stick to one topic. Find new angles you may not have considered using before, look at trends and vary the style you present it in. The purpose of your content should always be to engage people, so keeping it refreshed and current will always help this. Keep all your ideas in a notebook and transfer them to a Google Drive or similar content ideas folder. If you need fresh inspiration, go out and ask your audience with a poll on LinkedIn. Facebook or your Instagram stories.
Fourthly, think about your content as though you were the audience. What is the purpose? If you were looking into this topic, what would you want to learn from it? What would you want to gain knowledge about? You also need to think about what format you would like to present your content in and how accessible it is to the people who want to view it. When I think about my audience, they are creative coaches and entrepreneurs who are female. I know they are time poor and like consuming bite-sized content in different formats. My podcasts are ten minutes long, and my average blog post is 500 words long. I also keep my videos under ten minutes.
Lastly, ensure that people know where to find your content. I am a big fan of repurposing, so if you have written a blog, you can also write social posts to promote it; you can also do a Facebook live or video to promote it even further. From one blog, you can create at least 10-12 other types of content. Also, make the most of any new content you create, include it in your content schedule, so your audience sees it more than once. Sharing it on social media multiple times will boost your views and followers.
Lastly, remember to be yourself, step into your truth, tell stories that will resonate with your audience and their pain points. Remember to talk about the benefits of the solutions you and your business provide, and the rest will follow.
Claire Winter is the host of the Cracking Content podcast and a Copy and Content trainer and coach. She is passionate about helping coaches and creative entrepreneurs to amplify their expertise through storytelling, content, and PR so that they can get more sales and make a bigger impact through 1:1 coaching, her digital courses and membership.
Claire currently writes for all 41 Families magazines that cover the UK, which reach 9 million parents a year. She has have been a content creator for 20 years and helped thousands of business owners get more sales with their content marketing. She is a trained NCTJ journalist and started her career at ITN in radio and television. She also runs a free Facebook community called Cracking Content where she shares writing, content, and PR tips.
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