Engaging content creation requires time, critical thinking, and an intimate knowledge of your customers’ reading habits and preferences. What did TechValidate’s State of Content Marketing Survey indicate were the greatest challenges?

  1. Takes too much time: 43%
  2. Too labor intensive: 33%
  3. Can’t get customers to talk: 33%
  4. Not enough content for all use-cases: 31%
  5. Can’t get specific stats and/or metrics: 27%

Here are some more stats for you:

  • Median time produce a content asset (case study, white paper): 5 weeks.
  • 94% said that the voice of the customer is most convincing to prospects.
  • 69% of companies are creating personalized marketing content.

When drafting new content, there may be some internal self-doubt…

Good news! You no longer need to feel the frustration and exhaustion. My 3-step process will help automate the production of engaging, quality content.

Take a Customer-Centric Approach

Ask your existing and potential clients (effective for prospecting, by the way!) about what’s on their mind. For example:

  1. What are the 3 problems you deal with on a regular basis?
  2. What market opportunities are you excited about for the future?
  3. Which services or products that you use are related to this solution?

Make note of the answers; they often lead to more insightful questions.

Look for patterns or a gap in the market you can serve.

Providing critical, valuable advice that they can access repeatedly is a great strategy in building trust. Helping them resolve concerns, fears and worries forms the foundation for a customer centric content strategy.

Convert these Conversations into Valuable Ideas

Given the knowledge of what most bothers your customers, you can create content specifically for them. Build a list of ideas from your notes and try to use different combinations of topics. For large ideas, consider breaking them into 500–650 word segments for a blog series. Add details and outlines into Google Docs for later reference.

Having trouble with headlines and intros? Use these tools.

  1. Ryan Holiday’s Blog Post Structure Guide
  2. Hubspot Guide on 21 Tools for Content Creation
  3. Quandry Content Idea Generator

Post Regularly, Bi-Weekly At The Minimum

Assess your week and create a regular posting schedule. (i.e. Every Tuesday & Thursday). Do you want to build a community? Then provide the content on a regular basis, preferably on set posting days. If you can’t commit to set posting days, that’s okay, just commit to posting on a regular basis. You want to provide quality content that your readers and customers can expect. This ultimately drives traffic to your website, widens the sales funnel, which can in turn increase sales.

Take-Aways (What You NEED to Remember)

An effective content marketing strategy will put the customer at the center of every post. Learn what your customers struggle with in their day-to-day and make notes of your findings. Follow up with quality, actionable content they reference repetitively. Create your reputation as the go-to source for advice. Don’t settle for increasing sales, take a leadership role in your market and set the precedent for your customers and competition. Using your customers as content-generators will avoid hours of ideation and allow you instead to focus that time on building a global business.