Marketing Expert Adam Duvander Shares His 4 Tips for Creating Engaging Content for Your Customers
Creating original content can be a huge benefit for startups that are looking to connect with their market and form stronger customer connections. Labs mentor Adam DuVander, founder of EveryDeveloper, held a session to discuss his four tips for creating content that’s catered to your audience and drives engagement.
Tip #1: Know your audience
Before you create any type of content, you should be fully aware of who your audience is. Your goal is to speak to a particular audience and their interests, but if you don’t know who your audience is, you’ll end up creating content that feels cut-and-pasted. “You have to really understand, empathize, and talk to your audience,” DuVander says. “Startups have customer development conversations to help build products. These conversations can be helpful for content development as well because you can use them to inform what you create.”
It’s not enough to know your audience, though. You should also understand how they’re speaking about their specific problems and create content based on those concerns. “You have to be able to solve problems in the audiences’ language. First of all, figure out their problems and then find out how they talk about them,” DuVander says. “Do keyword searches to figure out what word or words customers are using to describe a problem they're having.” For example, if your startup provides a SaaS tool and you find that customers are searching for how your tool can be used in collaboration with Excel, you can create content that addresses that question. That way, you’re creating content based on the needs of your audience that’s more likely to resonate with them.
Tip #2: Know how to structure your content
As a busy founder with a small team (if you have a team), you may find it necessary to focus on content that doesn’t take long to create and can be easily replicated, but this is a big mistake. For example, if you decide to do a feature on an important influencer in your space, avoid asking them questions, putting their responses in a post, and publishing it with a generic headline. “That might be easy, but it tends to not be effective for the readers, or real audience that you want to attract,” DuVander says. Instead, focus on making each piece of content stand out. A headline of, Interview with Mr. Stevens, might not interest readers, but Mr. Steven Shares Why Cryptocurrency Is Here to Stay, may generate more conversation.
If you’re reaching out to people to create content, be sure to reach out to those who are influential, relevant, or familiar in your space. “It can certainly help to have someone with an audience who will share your content and help you amplify it to the right audience. But even if they don’t have a huge following, they may have a following of the type of people who are a good match for your product,” DuVander says.
Tip #3: Create content types and categories
For startups trying to enhance the quality of their content, coming up with a list of content types can help. “I’ve noticed that with startups, content can feel like such a burden to create. So initially you’ll want to try to lower the bar in terms of effort, not quality,” DuVander says. Some content types can include interviews, tutorials, Q & A’s, or features. But don’t create content types simply because you think it’ll be easier to produce one specific type over another. “You want to make sure that the type of content fits with your audience. If your audience cares about interviews, then absolutely create them,” DuVander says. On the other hand, if you have a technical product, you’ll probably want to create more tutorials or how-tos than interviews.
You can also think of categories for your content to help you come up with ideas. “Blogs often have categories. You can start by just spitballing four potential options to get started,” DuVander says. For example, you can have categories such as for new users, fun ideas, or tips and tricks. After you create categories, you can think of content that fits into one of them instead of trying to come up with content without a sense of direction.
To keep yourself organized, create an editorial calendar to establish a regular publishing schedule for your content. “You can start by saying, let’s do these four content types for the first week of the month and do this type the second week. It’s a very simplistic calendaring approach,” DuVander says.
Tip #4: Be consistent
When it comes to producing content, consistency is key. It may be challenging at first, but it’s essential to create a regular cadence with content publishing. “The important thing is to start to get content out there. Get the habit in motion, and make content creation feel like less of a burden,” DuVander says.
If you take the time to create content types and consistently schedule them on an editorial calendar, “over time you’ll see the benefits of that consistency and will be able to see what worked really well,” DuVander says. “Once you have that cadence, then you can start to think about creating high-quality content that’s results-driven. But that it's really hard to do that if you haven’t found a rhythm first.”
Learn more about content marketing.
This post is based on content from a WeWork Labs programming session.
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