Cashing in on Content by Providing Value

It never fails. I’ll run across a business owner who pats themselves on the back because they are publishing content. They’re churning out content in some form, yet, they get no client traction. There’s no interest, no interaction and certainly no sale. The optimists will say, “But I’m building brand awareness.”

If brand awareness is your only goal, go forth and make the masses aware. But awareness is just a first step. Most small businesses want awareness that leads to sales.

So how do we get there?

We create content that provides value. Value is subjective, but typically quality content offers value in the form of advice, inspiration, how-to instruction, insight or even entertainment. Luckily, there are several ways to add value to your content. Here are just a few:

This is all about solving a problem. Your audience likely has a question or a problem to solve and they’re looking for answers—answers that you should provide. If you don’t, trust me, your competitors will. The key here is to answer questions while showcasing your expertise. Use your content to present practical strategies, tips, or instructions that are easy to understand and implement. An article about your trip to Aruba is only valuable if it helps your readers in some way. As an example, a nutritionist could share a blog post about her day, doing some work at a local Starbucks. But a “valuable” blog post would be “How to Order a Healthy Drink at Starbucks.”

Another way to add value to your content is to share examples. Blanket statements often will not be sufficient in terms of quality information. To truly resonate with your audience, provide examples to validate your statements. Much like the Starbucks example referenced in number 1 above. You can also include stats.

While I’m a firm believer in the power of words, I can’t dispute the value of visuals. I mean, why do you think Instagram and Pinterest have become so popular? People are drawn to images, especially images that tell a story. Articles with images get 94% more views than articles without. Visuals also reign supreme in social media. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets! So to add value to your content, consider infographics, original pictures, videos and graphs to supplement your text. Bonus tip: With product shots, show your product in action in a real user environment. Also, use real people versus models.

Here’s where you can really let your authority shine. In your content, present an alternative perspective on a topic in your industry. Make sure it’s a perspective that you wholeheartedly believe and let your passion show. You’re not necessarily being a rebel here, but simply offering unique insight, which can go a long way. As an example, I met a guy who believes text emails are dead. “Video emails are where it’s at,” he said. He strongly believes that and could probably develop a boatload of content to back up his views. And I’m sure his audience would find value in that content.

Is your audience finding value in your content? Now is a good time to evaluate your content’s value. Your new mantra? Add value!