Full disclosure: I’m a perfectionist. As a writer and marketer, I’m always looking for ways to improve. As far as I’m concerned, nothing is ever “good enough,” especially when it comes to crafting content. If you’re anything like me, you may be looking for ways to improve the content you’re creating for your housewares brand as well. As we head into a new year, there’s no better time to take a look at how to make your content strategy and internal processes even stronger. If you’re not seeing the results you want with your content strategy, keep reading. I’ve put together five tips to help you easily and efficiently improve your content by being more purposeful and strategic
We’re big fans of buyer personas here at epower at home. We’ve seen first-hand how they help us develop much higher-level content for our agency and our housewares clients. Rather than creating content for some unknown customer, buyer personas make content creation feel more like writing a note to your long-time friend or colleague. You know them, you understand them, and you genuinely want to help them solve their problems. Not only does that make writing the content easier, but it also makes it more valuable for your readers.
When was the last time you took a good hard look at your buyer personas? If it’s been a while or you haven’t even created them yet, that’s OK! There’s no time like the present! Our buyer persona development guide can get you started.
Once you have well-defined personas, you have a powerful tool at your disposal. Ask yourself the following questions to use your personas to up your content game.
- Am I using words and phrases that will resonate with my target audience? If not, consider tweaking word choice and key phrases throughout your posts.
- Am I sharing my content on the online platforms and channels that my audience uses? If not, try focusing your distribution strategy to better reach your audience.
- Am I covering all the topics and pain points that matter to my customers? Revise existing content or develop new pieces that attract and engage your audience.
- Do I have content supporting all the steps of the buyer’s journey? You want to be sure your content is guiding readers throughout the buying process and not leaving them hanging.
2. Create a tone + voice guide for consistency.
If you’re anything like most of the housewares clients we work with, there are a lot of hands involved in the content creation process. While multiple perspectives and skill sets are great, it also means it’s easy for things to get lost in translation — especially across departments or while working with an outside marketing agency or influencers. The result can be confusion and inconsistencies for both your team and your customers. Sound familiar?
That’s where a well-crafted tone + voice guide comes in handy. It helps keep things clear, concise, and targeted, no matter who’s on the team or where content is posted. As noted above, it’ll also help make sure everyone is using language that will resonate with your audience. What words best describe your housewares brand? What phrases or words do you like? Which ones don’t you like? How do you respond to common complaints or compliments? These are all questions your guide should address. Whether serious or humorous, professional or snarky, go all in.
Once you’ve put together a tone + voice guide, you can use it to keep consistency across your content. Take a look at existing (and future) posts and ask yourself…
- Are there words or phrases I should remove or add to my content? Similar language across platforms and formats is a great way to start fostering a brand voice.
- Is my content helping create the mood or feeling I want my brand to portray? If not, it may be time to change course with a different angle or perspective.
- Does my voice distinguish my brand from competitors? A strong and consistent voice will help you stand out in the crowded housewares market.
3. “Show, don’t just tell.” Use storytelling techniques to grab attention.
When I was in college, I had a journalism professor who would read my articles and often say, “Show me, don’t just tell me.” He was trying to get me to go even deeper and utilize storytelling techniques to make the article more compelling. While it was frustrating at the time, it was valuable advice that I still think about whenever I’m writing. Sure, facts and data are important, but it’s stories that really captivate us and draw us in.
When developing content, think of your favorite stories and storytellers. What is it that you enjoy or connect with? Try and emulate that in your marketing. Let’s look at a few of the storytelling techniques you can use to create a strong emotional connection with your audience.
- Descriptive language. Add details that allow your audience to engage their senses — touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight. Saying a wine has “aromas of rich dark currants, nectarine skins, and gushing blackberry” is a lot more informative than simply saying “fruity.”
- A relatable character or setting. Help your audience see themselves or their loved ones in your marketing by using recognizable personality traits throughout your writing. For example, even if you aren’t “an exhausted mom just trying to hold it together,” you certainly know one. It’s easy to empathize with her.
- A familiar plot or scenario. A relatable experience, problem, or feeling can help your customer better connect with your brand. Most of us have experienced the stress of finding the perfect gift, not having enough storage space, or tackling a difficult project for the first time, so it’s easy to connect with housewares brands and products that show how they help overcome those obstacles.
4. Improve formatting for better user experience.
There’s a lot of content out there and only so much time to read it. Staring at big blocks of text can be intimidating, especially when customers are just looking for a quick answer or using a smaller tablet or mobile screen. If your readers can’t quickly find what they’re looking for, it’s likely they’ll move on to another site. With that in mind, there are a few easy steps you can do to improve user experience through formatting and organization.
- Add more visuals. They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, especially when it’s showing off your awesome housewares products. Using images, videos, infographics to break up blocks of text and focus attention.
- Use bullets, numbers, bold and italics. These formatting tools are a great way to draw attention to the important points in your content and break up the text.
- Use subheads. If your blog is covering multiple ideas or topics, subheads are a great way to help guide the reader along. Much like chapters in a book, it makes it easy to skim and quickly find the information you need.
- Don’t be afraid of white space. Sometimes white space can be a good option. It helps provide a clean, fresh look to the page and doesn’t overload the viewer with too many options.
If your content isn’t getting the results you want, take some time to look at your page formatting. A website should be easy to navigate and content should be visually appealing and easy to read.
(Is your website just not cutting it? Justin, our vice president of account strategies, has some tips about working with your digital marketing team on a new site.)
5. Review, revise, and repurpose content to keep it relevant.
Content is not a “one and done” thing. To really make the most of it, you should continually be looking to improve it. That means working with your team on reviews, revisions, and repurposing. Not only will it save you time, money, and energy, but it’ll help you better connect with your audience.
- Review. Having a set editing process before publishing content will help make sure your content is on brand before going live. You want an editor that is able to provide feedback that makes your work better. They should be a fresh set of eyes that looks not just for grammar and spelling mistakes, but also whether or not the content piece is really addressing your target audience, utilizing engaging storytelling techniques, and written and formatted in a brand-appropriate way.
- Revise. Take a look at your content with a new perspective after it’s already been live for a while. What are the data and analytics telling you? Are there keywords or product images that should be added or updated? If a piece is timely, can it be quickly revised to make it more “evergreen” (such as turning a Valentine’s Day blog into a date night blog)? Quick change and updates can go a long way to help keep your posts timely and relevant.
- Repurpose. This is all about ways you can make life easier on yourself and your team. You don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel every time. Use your top-performing content pieces as a guide and continue expanding upon them. An extended content piece or e-book can quickly be broken down into multiple blog posts. Quotes from blog posts can quickly become social posts. An influencer or trade publication can quickly share one of your content pieces to reach a new audience. A blog can serve as the guideline for an email blast. The list goes on.
Content can quickly become outdated and irrelevant and lose visibility if you don’t make the time to keep it fresh. It’s best to come at it with fresh eyes and a fresh perspective at least every quarter or so to see what improvements you can make.
Need a fresh perspective on your content marketing or overall marketing strategy? We can help.