There are no two ways about it, creating great, insightful content for your institution is always a good thing. However, it is extremely difficult to measure how much of real impact each piece of content actually has on the reader and whether or not this has a long-lasting effect.
Yes, there may be few concrete ways to measure this impact, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t be attempting to make your content as impressionable and as wide reaching as possible. And in fact, there are a number of ways that you can make sure that your efforts have the exact desired effect on the reader. Here are eight top tips to do so;
When creating content, the first thing to consider is whether or not the issue or topic you’re commenting on is actually one that people will genuinely take an interest in, and want to read about. A good way to ensure your material will be of interest to readers is by centring it around hot topics in your expert area, or relevant and timely issues that people are talking and reading about. If so, you’re guaranteed to have people wanting to read your content.
New and fresh perspective
It is all well and good deciding to create thought-leadership around a relevant and timely topic, but if you are not offering a new, fresh and different perspective on the debate then your piece will not have an impact on its readers at all. People want to read insights that are different to what others are saying, so there is no point repeating ideas and opinions that others have also shared. Therefore, it is important to add something new and of real value to the debate in your content.
When adding your new and fresh perspective to an issue, don’t be afraid to be provocative or controversial in doing so. The most-read and most-shared pieces are likely to be those that say not only something completely different, but do so in a conservative or subtle way. As long as you’re able to back-up your claims with evidence or stats and stick to your guns, then there is no harm in being provocative in your approach in saying this.
Straight to the point
Yes, readers want to hear your interesting and new insights, but they don’t want to sift through waffle to find them. That is why it is important to ensure your content and your perspective is straight to the point and easy to understand – therefore readers will understand exactly what insight you’re adding to the debate, and will be more likely to engage with the ideas you’re putting out there.
SEO and key words
It is important to consider SEO and keyword search when it comes to creating content. The chances are this will be for an online audience and no matter how good and insightful a piece is, if you haven’t included key search terms or considered SEO in your piece, the likelihood of it being seen or even impacting on the desired audience is very little. Adding these key words into your piece is important for it to gain as much exposure as possible with the exact intended audience, but it is important not to soften the content of your piece by going overboard on this.
So, there are a few key techniques for ensuring your content is as impactful and visible as possible in the writing stage, but there are some steps you can take once this is published to continue to boost its exposure;
Use social media
Publishing a piece of coverage or a blog is all well and good, but if you are not actively promoting it as well it is likely your desired readers are not going to find or read it. You should be looking to utilise your social media platforms by sharing your content on these and thus gaining more exposure for it. However, to have the best possible impact on the right people, you shouldn’t just be sharing this blindly. You should be looking to target potential readers who you know would be interested, and would also benefit from it. This is when you should be using targeted groups, hashtags, networks or even marketing promotion campaigns.
When you are sharing this content, to really get the audience to engage with it you have to do more than simply share the link. You should encourage debate around the piece, ask questions to potential readers or create posts that have a high potential of being liked and shared – this way the content you create is likely to get more engagement and therefore reach a wider audience.
Re-use topical content
You may have created a piece of content a long-while ago, put the topic it was based on may be one that comes up time and time again. When it does, there is no harm in re-using this and distributing it to your potential audience again. As long as it is still accurate, relevant and fits into the new discussion then re-using this older material can be a great way to reintroduce it to the wider debate and to impact on new potential readers.