Your content’s ultimate goal is to provide value to its readers. Whether you’re creating a blog post, video, or social media post, your content should be helpful, informative, and engaging.
Readers who find your content helpful are likelier to view you as an expert and trust your opinions and recommendations.
This leads to increased brand recognition and customer loyalty over time. Also, making content helpful drives traffic to your website and earns you valuable backlinks.
According to Startup Bonsai, around 79% of companies use content marketing to generate quality leads. But how exactly can you create helpful content?
Let’s discuss the top 5 ways that make content helpful and aid you in engaging with readers in a refined way.
Know Your Audience and Their Challenges
Knowing your audience and understanding their challenges is crucial for creating content that is truly helpful and valuable to them. When you deeply understand your target audience, you can tailor your content to address their specific needs and provide solutions to their challenges. Ninety percent of marketers believe that personalization is the future.
Here are some questions that can help you know your audience better:
- What does my audience need to know about – Identify the key information or knowledge most relevant to your audience’s interests, needs, and challenges.
- How does my audience best learn – Consider the preferred learning style of your audience, such as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. Additionally, use a variety of formats, such as text, images, videos, or interactive elements, to cater to different learning styles.
- What would make this tutorial more helpful – You can easily make content helpful by using concise language that is easy to understand. Also, provide step-by-step instructions or a logical sequence of information to ensure your audience doesn’t miss out on anything.
- If I was trying to learn something, what would help me – Make content helpful by breaking down difficult concepts into smaller, digestible pieces of information. Add real-life examples or case studies to make the content relatable. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers.
- What adds value to this content that hasn’t been done elsewhere – Offer unique insights or perspectives that haven’t been covered extensively in other content. Moreover, provide original research, data, or statistics supporting your content’s authenticity.
Do Your Research and Address Something that Your Audience Will Benefit From
Another way to make content helpful is by conducting thorough research to understand your audience’s interests, needs, and challenges. If you want to provide more value to your target audience than your competitors, you cannot overlook the importance of in-depth research!
Here are a few guidelines that will help you in your research:
- Identify the specific pain points, questions, or challenges your audience faces about your topic or niche.
- Conduct surveys, interviews, or polls to gather insights into your audience’s preferences, interests, and needs.
- Utilize tools like analytics, keyword research, or social listening to identify popular topics or trends related to your audience’s interests.
- Stay updated with industry news, trends, and changes that may impact your audience, and address them in your content.
These things also aid you in establishing yourself as a trusted source of information for your audience.
Add a Human Element to Your Writing
Adding a human element in writing can greatly enhance the connection between the writer and their audience. Incorporating personal anecdotes, emotions, experiences, and storytelling techniques helps you create content that perfectly aligns with users’ interests.
Joe Gandolfo writes in his book, “Selling is 2% product knowledge and 98% understanding human beings.”
Here are some ways you can add a human touch to your content:
Share Personal Anecdotes
Personal anecdotes are stories from your life that illustrate a point or convey a message. They add a human touch to your writing by making it more authentic and relatable. Share relevant personal experiences that your readers can connect with, whether it’s a funny anecdote, a heartwarming story, or a lesson you’ve learned. Be honest and real in your storytelling, and use fine descriptive language to paint a vivid picture for your readers. Here’s an example:
“I remember the first time I traveled alone to a foreign country. I was nervous and overwhelmed, but the sense of adventure and excitement kept me going. As I navigated the unfamiliar streets of Tokyo and interacted with locals, I learned their cultural values and lessons of resilience and adaptability that I still carry with me today.“
Use Emotions and Feelings
Emotions are powerful. There is a popular marketing quote,
“People buy on emotions and then justify with logic.”
Feelings can help you connect with your readers emotionally and make your content more memorable. Describe your feelings, thoughts, and reactions in your writing: excitement, frustration, joy, or fear. By sharing your emotions, you create empathy and understanding among your readers, making your content more human and relatable.
“I know that dealing with loss can be incredibly tough. The pain and emptiness can sometimes feel overwhelming, and it’s okay to grieve in your own way and at your own pace. Remember to care for yourself and reach out to your loved ones for support. You’re not alone in this journey.”
Use Conversational Tone
Writing in a conversational tone can make content helpful and give it a more approachable feel. Use everyday language that your readers can understand easily. Don’t use overly formal or technical language. Write as if you’re conversing with a friend, using contractions, questions, and direct addresses to engage your readers and make them feel like you’re speaking directly to them. Here’s an example:
“Have you ever had one of those sad days when nothing seems right? I had one recently when I spilled coffee on my laptop, missed an important deadline, and got stuck in the rain without an umbrella. It felt like the whole universe was against me, but then I realized that setbacks are just part of life’s rollercoaster ride. It’s how we handle them that really defines us.“
Be Personal, Authentic, and Real
Connecting with your audience personally is essential in building meaningful relationships and creating an engaged community. To achieve this, it’s important to be authentic and real in your interactions with your audience. This means being genuine, transparent, and showing your true personality without trying to portray a false image or persona. It’s because authenticity creates credibility, allowing your audience to relate to you on a human level.
Read Next: 28 Blogging Tips for Beginners 
Make Sure the Headline Indicates What You are Actually Going to Write About
The headline of your content should accurately reflect what the content is about. It sets your audience’s expectations and helps them determine if your content is relevant and worth their time. According to a recent study, 74 percent of people feel frustrated when content is irrelevant to them.
Here are some tips for crafting headlines that clearly indicate what your content is about:
Avoid Using a Misleading Heading of Clickbait
Clickbait headlines that promise sensational or exaggerated claims but fail to deliver on them can quickly disappoint readers and damage your credibility. It’s important to avoid clickbait and ensure that your headline accurately reflects the true value of your content. Just be honest and transparent about what your writing offers. Also, avoid misleading or exaggerated statements that may misrepresent your content. Here’s an example of a clickbait heading of an article:
“Secrets to Instantly Lose 20 Pounds in 7 Days – You Won’t Believe!“
Match Headline with Content
Your headline should be consistent with the actual content of your writing. It should accurately reflect your content’s main theme or topic, and readers should be able to find the information they were promised in the headline when they read your content. Also, avoid creating overly broad or generic headlines because they may not accurately represent the specific content of your writing and can lead to reader disappointment.
Mismatched headings bring in wrong visitors, which are likely to bounce back within a few seconds. A higher bounce rate is a sign of low-quality content.
Keep it Concise
A concise headline that delivers the intended message in a clear and succinct manner is highly effective. So, avoid lengthy or convoluted headlines that may confuse readers or dilute the impact of your message. Aim for brevity while still accurately conveying the essence of your content. You may not know this, but well-crafted, concise headlines can grab readers’ attention and excite them to read further. Here’s an example: “5 Tips for Effective Email Marketing”
Test and Refine Your Heading
It’s crucial to test and refine your headlines to ensure that they accurately reflect your content. Consider conducting A/B testing by creating multiple headlines for the same content and analyzing their performance. Monitor metrics such as click-through rates, engagement, and reader feedback. These help you determine which headlines are most effective in delivering the promise of your content.
Use Specific Keywords
Using specific keywords in your headline can help ensure that it reflects the content of your writing. For example, if you are writing about “gardening tips for beginners,” including the keywords “gardening” and “beginners” in your headline can indicate that your content will specifically focus on those topics. Using keywords will make content helpful and ensure readers that it provides the required information. It’s ideal for adjusting long-tail keywords naturally, as these boost content specificity.
Use Examples and Data, Screenshots, Images, and Video When Appropriate
Using examples and data makes content helpful and allows your audience to trust you. Additionally, screenshots, images, and videos help them get in-depth into a topic and improve their understanding of it. Here’s how all these things add value to your content:
Illustration with Examples
Examples are powerful tools that can help readers understand complex concepts or ideas. You can make content helpful, relatable, and engaging by providing real-world examples. Use relevant and compelling examples that support your main points and provide context for your readers. Consider using anecdotes, case studies, or testimonials to illustrate your content and make it more engaging for your audience.
Back up with Data
Data adds credibility and authority to your content. Including relevant data, facts, and statistics can help support your arguments, provide evidence, and validate your claims. Use reputable sources and cite your data to ensure accuracy and reliability. Data can come in various forms, such as numerical data, research findings, surveys, or industry reports. Adding such information can picture you as an industry expert in front of your audience.
Visualize with Screenshots, Images, and Videos
Another way to make content helpful is by adding visuals, as they greatly enhance the readability and engagement of your content. According to SAGIPL, 84% of communications are visual in 2023. Screenshots, images, and videos can help clarify complex concepts, provide step-by-step instructions, and make your content more visually appealing. Use relevant visuals that align with your content and add value to your readers.
For example, if you are writing some tutorial on a software application, including screenshots or videos demonstrating the steps can greatly enhance the understanding of your content.
Make Updates When Things Change
It’s crucial to keep your content up-to-date by making regular updates to make content evergreen. This helps ensure your content remains accurate, relevant, and valuable to your audience. Here’s a more detailed guide on how to make updates in content when things change:
Keeping up with the latest developments in your industry or niche is essential to ensure your content remains current and relevant. Stay informed by regularly following industry news, subscribing to relevant newsletters, and engaging in industry discussions. Also, set up Google Alerts or use social media monitoring tools. They help you stay updated on any changes or updates that may affect your content.
Conduct Content Audits
Conducting periodic content audits is a proactive approach to identifying outdated or inaccurate information in your content. You can use it to review your content inventory and assess its accuracy, relevance, and usefulness. According to Blogging Wizard, 71% of consumers prefer personalization or personalized content that matches their interests and needs. Consider the following areas:
- Content Accuracy: Review the facts, statistics, data, and examples in your content. Verify if they are still accurate and up-to-date. If not, update them with the latest information to ensure your content is reliable and trustworthy.
- Content Relevance: Assess the relevance of your content in light of the latest industry trends, technological advancements, or changes in customer preferences. Identify any content that has become outdated or irrelevant and consider updating it to keep up with your content quality.
Revise Examples and Case Studies
Examples and case studies are great tools to illustrate your points and make content helpful. However, they can become outdated over time. So, reviewing your content’s examples and case studies is essential to ensure they are still relevant and accurate. Replace outdated examples or case studies with more recent ones to reflect the current state of your industry or topic.
Check Links and References
External links, references, and citations are important for providing additional information and supporting your content. However, links can become broken or outdated over time, leading to a poor user experience. Therefore, review the links and references in your content to ensure they are still valid. If you find broken or outdated links, replace them with updated ones to maintain the integrity of your content and provide a seamless user experience. Broken links are slow-poison for your content.
Review Keywords and SEO
If your content is crafted for search engines, you should review the keywords and SEO elements to ensure they are relevant and aligned with current search trends. Keyword popularity and search algorithms can change over time, so updating your content is crucial. Conduct keyword research again to identify new relevant keywords and update them to make content helpful.
Update Facts and Figures
If your content includes statistics, data, or facts, it’s important to ensure they are current and accurate. Outdated information can erode the credibility of your content, and you may not establish yourself as an expert. So, verify the accuracy of your facts and figures and update them with the latest data from reputable sources. For instance, you wrote an article about the world population in 2019. It was about 7.7 billion then, but it’s over 8 billion now.
Address User Feedback
Another way to make content helpful is to pay attention to feedback from your audience, such as comments, questions, or reviews. It’s because they provide valuable insights for improving your content. Review any feedback or comments about outdated or inaccurate content information. Readers also request some additional content that may be missing in your current version. Address them and make necessary updates to improve your content’s relevance and usefulness!
Encourage Your Audience to Sign Up for Updates So They can be Informed When Something Changes
If you make significant updates to your content, it’s important to communicate them to your audience. You can easily do it by encouraging your audience to sign up for updates. Here’s how you can implement this:
- Include a Call-to-Action: Include a call-to-action (CTA) in your content, such as a button or a link. This invites your audience to sign up for updates.
- Highlight the Benefits: Clearly communicate the advantages of signing up for updates. Let your audience know that by signing up, they will be the first to know when something changes in your industry or niche.
- Keep It Simple: Keep the sign-up process simple and easy for your audience. Avoid asking for too much information or making the process cumbersome. Request only the essential information, such as name and email address, to make it quick and hassle-free for your audience to sign up.
Final Thoughts to Make Content Helpful
You can easily make content helpful for your audience by understanding their needs and providing accurate information in clear language. Also, focus on organizing your content effectively, addressing pain points, using visuals and examples, and continuously improving your content. Follow the above-mentioned guidelines, establish your brand as a trusted resource, and foster a positive relationship with your audience.