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What’s the big deal about content marketing anyway? If you’re not sure, then you’re already behind. Content is absolutely the best way to build your credibility, nurture your reputation, and provide value to your potential clients. Most of the time, though, even good content goes unread or unused.

Most of us want the content we create to be used by our audience. If you want to publish content that attracts subscribers, you need to set yourself apart from the competition.

So much content is put out there just to fill space.

You don’t want to do that.

You want to create content that not only attracts your audience but also makes them want to engage, subscribe, and buy.

Here are some ways to do that:

* Create Audience Avatars – You probably don’t have just one ideal audience member; you probably have several. Not only that – each persona will move through their buying cycle, and you may want to create something to remind you of not only who you’re creating content for, but also where they are in their buying cycle.

* Explain your Products and Services Clearly – Of course, you need to really understand your products and services inside and out. Even if you hire people to create them, do study them and know them enough that you can create an FAQ if needed, and help you form your content in a knowledgeable way.

* Practice Persuasive Writing – When you think of it, most of the content you create needs to be persuasive. You want to persuade them to learn more, share, and buy. When you are writing things to persuade others, it takes some practice and testing to get it right.

* Focus on Creating Clear Headlines – No one is going to read anything you publish if you don’t create the right type of headlines. You want a good headline to be to the point, but also make your audience curious.

* Grab Their Attention – Everything you publish should grab their attention. Ask a question, tell a story, demonstrate one of your products or services, and use imagery or a quote that will get them to look. Test these to see which ones your audience responds best to. In my case, for instance, my audience seems to respond best to stories and then case studies.

* Make Them Interested – People like it when you make them think. It makes them more interested when they are challenged to look at an issue in a brand new way. Be careful about too much controversy, but don’t be afraid to cause a little ruckus. Remember the saying, “the only thing you get by sitting on the fence is a bottom full of splinters.”

* Create the Desire to Act – People want to know why they need to do something, so you’ll need to use words and persuasion to create the desire to act. Tell them what the benefits are of acting, and then tell them how to do it. And, if your content is directed at new prospects, make that first action very easy- a micro-commitment.

* Make It All About Your Audience – Never forget why you’re publishing in the first place. It’s about your audience and what they want and need, not what you want. But, of course, by servings them the right way you will ultimately get what you want too, which is a higher return on investment and more revenue.

* Test, Adjust, Repeat – Everything you do in business needs to be tested using the metrics from the services you use such as Google Analytics, the data within your Facebook Dashboard, and elsewhere. Use that data to test your results so that you can adjust them. Then repeat the things that work and toss the rest.

If you want to attract a certain audience, you need to know who they are, what they like, and how you can help them. Then publish information that lets them know that you’re the go-to person with the right information at the right time.

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