Brands are often looking for ways to improve the content they are creating for consumers. ConvertKit, an email marketing software, is on a mission to help online content creators connect with their audiences and earn a living online. With those goals in mind, the ConvertKit team makes it a priority to create high quality, actionable content for its own audience.
We recently sat down with Derrick Hicks, Director of Marketing and Data for ConvertKit. Hicks shared 5 tips brands should keep in mind to consistently create high quality, engaging content.
1. Don’t get locked into one type of content
Hicks encourages brands to go outside the box instead of solely creating content in an article format. It is important to match the data or content topic being shared with the most compelling way of sharing it.
Consider a different approach, such as a competition or an infographic, that captures consumers’ attention and provides an opportunity for engagement in new ways.
An example of this is a challenge ConvertKit is launching. The team noticed that if new users published a landing page through ConvertKit during the service’s free trial period, those same users were more likely to continue using their services after the trial period ended. Based on this data, the marketing team looked for a way to get more users to produce a landing page. Thus, the Landing Page Challenge was born. The goal of the challenge is for users to create a landing page through ConvertKit and generate as many new subscribers to their email lists as possible.
Throughout the competition, ConvertKit is providing various types of content, including webinars that train users how to create a landing page and grow email lists. The team is also producing additional support articles geared around the goals of the competition. The Landing Page Challenge is an opportunity for ConvertKit to mix new content types with the standard article-style content in hopes of engaging more users and growing the brand’s audience.
2. Align content strategy with the brand strategy
When it comes to growing a brand, it is valuable to have a content strategy that aligns with the overall brand goals and needs. For example, if a brand is having trouble expanding its audience, the content strategy should focus on creating content that attracts new users. But if the trouble is retaining customers who already have a relationship with the brand, the strategy should be creating content that speaks to the existing customer base.
The ConvertKit leadership identified new content strategies after doing a deep dive into the brand’s current needs. The leadership discovered a decline in users activating their services after the trial period. Because of this, ConvertKit aligned all content marketing efforts for the first half of the year with a new goal of more users continuing engagement beyond the trial period.
The new brand and content marketing goal sparked the idea for the landing page challenge. Because the goal of the challenge mirrors a new core goal of the brand, ConvertKit is not simply producing content for the sake of growing traffic. They are now creating content that is not only helpful for users but also focuses on what can help the brand grow.
3. Make content that is the best quality possible
Hicks suggests brands balance the quality of their own content with content that already exists. If another brand is creating similar content but at a much higher quality level, consider moving on to other topics or content styles that can be produced at a matching quality.
Match the max quality you can achieve with making it the best that’s available out there. –Derrick Hicks
Quality should be kept in mind for both the value of the topic being shared and the execution of the medium being used. Hicks says it is helpful to compare what competitors are doing with what a brand is able to achieve based on available tools and capabilities. When using video, pair the highest quality of production with content the brand is knowledgeable about. If it is a podcast, take audio and production into account while also ensuring the content is unique to the brand.
If it is an article, consider the best SEO and organic search play. Define what the search intent is on that topic. Should it be short and simple or advanced, heavy-duty content? Hicks encourages matching the intent with the medium and bump the quality up as much as possible.
4. Define what success is and how it will be measured before creating content
Success can be as simple as growing traffic, but Hicks says it is important to dig deeper into why it is important to grow traffic:
- What is the end goal for users when they land on an article or a video?
- What action should that experience spark?
- How will that action be measured to determine it was a success?
Digging deeper helps better understand and define goals for the content being created, as well as set a bar for the content’s quality.
It’s really important to define success and what that might look like before you start creating content. –Derrick Hicks
Before ConvertKit launched the Landing Page Challenge, the team set specific goals around the number of unique users engaging with ConvertKit’s services. This number became the core measure of success for the campaign. From that core goal, the team backed into smaller goals for the content created to support the challenge.
Without defining a core measure of success, it is difficult to know what to aim for in terms of the value of what is being shared and actions the audience should take when interacting with the content.
5. Be consistent. Be patient.
Hicks says it might not be exciting to hear, but it is important to be both consistent and patient. If a measure of success has been defined and it is clear whether the mark is being hit or not, consider what the brand can learn to navigate changes in content creation moving forward.
Getting through those learning periods requires consistency and patience.
This looks different for each brand and content creator. Hicks says it is about consistently trying new content types while also sticking with a schedule of producing the brand’s regular content. It could mean accomplishing a big goal often, like a quarterly marketing push. Or it could be a smaller goal, like conducting a series of tests to make sure a piece of content is doing what it is supposed to be doing.
Pick something to work on, generate as many ideas as possible, and just try them. –Derrick Hicks
Measuring small wins along the way encourages patience while waiting to see larger results.
Set a cadence for content creation that works for the brand. No matter what happens, continue regularly creating within the content strategy so that the brand’s core goals are being achieved.
To listen to the whole interview with Derrick Hicks, tune in to episode 72 of the Money & Media Podcast. Stay tuned for a special discussion between our hosts Joe Saul-Sehy and Bethany Bayless about the importance of consistently generating high-quality content.
Subscribe to the Show
Subscribe through Apple Podcasts and new episodes will show up every month.
Never subscribed to a podcast before? Here’s Apple’s easy tutorial.
Would you rather listen on your smartphone? Try Stitcher, the iPP app for Android, or the iPhone podcast app. We’re available on each of these platforms.
About Our Hosts
Bethany Bayless is a public speaker and emcee who co-hosts the podcast The Money Millhouse.
Join Us for #FinCon19
Want to meet with brands to explore those relationships? Join us for FinCon19 September 4-7 in Washington D.C. Register for your pass today!