Rule Number One - Always Keep Your Audience Top Of Mind

Content is king, no one questions that. But why does so much of it stink? It comes down to what our mothers said when we were kids. If you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all. We are in a world inundated with content and most of that content isn't nice (quality). 

How do you rise above the noise and how can you make sure your content doesn't underperform? As content creators, we forget our audience. We forget who they are and forget that we are in the business of serving them. No matter what brand or industry you are in, your job is to help your audience. You need to entertain them, teach them, make them think, introduce them to a new cause, or keep them informed. 

Content fails because we forget to serve.

Identify you customer personas in as much detail as possible. What do they like to eat? Where do they shop? What media outlets do they go to? What interest them? What are their core beliefs and causes? Do they drink pour overs or a frappuccino? Identify everything about them. You might have an idea your target customer in your head, but so do your coworkers. Do those definitions match up? Are they consistent? Most likely no.

You must get your customer personas down on paper and share widely across your brand.

Once step one is done, you know who you are creating for. Now I want you to ask yourself one simple question about each piece of content you create. Think about the answer to this before you start to write, while you are crafting your message, and upon final review.

Is this going to benefit my audience?

If the answer is no, scrap it. Don't contribute to the noise. The internet is full of enough cat videos (unless your audience really loves cats), enough aggregate sites that lack substance, and enough clutter that you don't need to add to the noise. Everything you say and everything you do should have the sole focus of serving your audience. 

You are not creating for your co-workers or your boss, you are creating for them. You are writing, filming, drawing, and shooting to serve a need and solve a problem for your customers.

If you don't have something nice to say (something of quality) don't say anything at all. Do your customers benefit from your content? Is it created with them in mind? How do you ensure that this is done? What questions do you ask yourself or what checks do you put in place?

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Tim Akers