17 Experts Share Their Secrets of Creating Killer Content

“Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader – not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” – E. L. Doctorow

Content is the king, and it rules the whole digital marketing space. However, content creation is a process that you cannot master quickly. It requires time, effort, dedication and hard work. You need to consider the target audience,  do a proper content analysis and have a lot of patience.

When you start to create content, you need guidance and feedback from experts to write well and produce high-quality content that resonates with your target audience. 

Have you ever wondered how the experts produce content that perfectly fits their target market?

Today, I’m happy to share with you the secrets of some incredible content experts and social media influencers to creating highly valuable content. I asked 17 experts, “How do you produce appealing content to your target market?”

The responses I received were just mind-blowing.

Erik Huberman

Erik Huberman has left his mark on the digital marketing world. It’s no secret that Erik knows how to run a business and grow it rapidly. The 30 Under 30 entrepreneur started Hawke Media, a full-service outsourced CMO in 2013 when he was 26 years old. Erik has since grown Hawke Media to over 80 employees, earning several awards in the process. These awards include Built in LA’s Top 50 Startups in LA and [Happy City] Top 10 Happiest Places to Work. Before founding Hawke, Erik began his career at Ellie.com where he helped the company reach $2 million in sales in four months, then started his first company, Swag of the Month. While growing a business from the ground up, Erik has spoken nationally on topics ranging from entrepreneurship, digital marketing, e-commerce, personal values, and win/win business practices, and is a contributing writer for several highly acclaimed online publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc. A widely respected expert in the fields of sales, digital marketing and e-commerce, serial entrepreneurship, and brand marketing, Erik Huberman is fast becoming recognized as a leader in nurturing the growth of companies. Erik was a winner of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016 and was one of Inc’s Top 25 Marketing Influencers.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

The biggest tip I’d give to create content for your target audience is to take the position of who they are aspiring to be. It is good to create customer personas, but even more important is to create the persona they are looking towards your product to help them become. People buy things to change things. They want to “look cool” or “solve a problem,” so speak as if you are the person they are trying to become and create content from that perspective.

Aaron Orendorff

Aaron Orendorff is the Editor in Chief of Shopify Plus, founder of iconiContent, and a regular contributor to sites like Mashable, Lifehacker, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fast Company, The Huffington Post, and more. In the marketing world, he’s been responsible for some of Copyblogger, Unbounce, and Content Marketing Institute’s biggest posts of the last two years.
His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Start with the pain. But never assume your audience knows just how much pain they’re in. They don’t    otherwise they’d change. Identify the problem they’re facing just enough to get them nodding. Nodding visitors keep reading. Then, expose them to the full hell of their situation. The best way to unpack this is with the great screenwriter Robert McKee’s four-fold “forces of antagonism.” (1) Personal problems: What inside your reader is holding them back? How are they sabotaging their own success? (2) Interpersonal problems: Who are the people holding them back? What are the relationships that are keeping them from success? (3) Social problems: Are there power structures (i.e., competitors) inside or outside their organization standing in their way? (4) Physical problems: How is the world itself set up to oppose them? Only after all that (or even a series that unpacks each one) are they ready for your solution … heaven.

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is the Chief Technology Officer of BlitzMetrics, a digital marketing company that partners with schools to train young adults. Dennis’s program centers around mentorship, helping students grow their expertise to manage social campaigns for enterprise clients like the Golden State Warriors, Nike, and Rosetta Stone. He’s an internationally recognized lecturer in Facebook Marketing and has spoken in 17 countries, spanning five continents, including keynotes at L2E, Gulltaggen, and Marketo Summit.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Make content based on your direct, step-by-step experience. Then you not only have unique, authoritative content but a lead magnet, too. This is called the LIGHTHOUSE client strategy.

Sandy Carter

Sandy Carter is the Vice President of Amazon Web Services focused on Enterprise Workloads like Microsoft and helping companies with innovation and technology. One of the leading pioneers in the digital business revolution, Sandy was a driving force of Innovation at IBM for the last decade. She was responsible for connecting emerging technology companies and accelerators with enterprises to increase productivity while fostering a community of innovation. She is an extreme innovator and bestselling author, publishing her 5th book, “Extreme Innovation: Three Superpowers for Purpose and Profit,” and built on her revolutionary research with Carnegie Mellon SV. Sandy was named Top 3 Innovation Influencer at SXSW in 2017, Top 5 Social Influencer at Social Media World in 2017, Top 4 Bot Influencer by BotsCamp in 2017, Digital Influencer in 2016 by Forbes, a Social Media Legend, Top 10 Women in Technology by CNN, and top 100 Influencer in AI, IoT, and Social Business by Onalytica.

Sandy is the Chairman of the Board of Girls in Tech. She was honored 2X with the AIT United Nations Member of the Year award for helping developing countries with technology. She is an Advisor to startups in AI, IoT, and AR/VR.

A trailblazer in new business market entry and a recognized thought leader, Sandy has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Business Insider, Forbes, and Venture Beat.

Her thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Experiment experiment experiment. Experiment patiently and accept failures. Content has to be dynamic and playful and fun! And it changes! So experiment with different types of content. Do video, do audio, do playful, do serious and then choose what works for your audience. Double down when you see customer delight   and focus there. Don’t produce content just to have content. A customer-obsessed content strategy really matters.

Alex Yong

Alex Yong has been a PR industry-watcher since his first Samsung Gala invite in mid-2012. He reports from Android unveilings and local press events held by Facebook, LinkedIn, Acer, Paychex, Microsoft and more. Alex worked the Thomson-Reuters desk within equity research communications for eight years at Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and CSFB, where he quickly developed a love for a protocol. In 2015, he was named a top PR resource in Cision North America’s list of rich media Twitter influencers. This list of 50 names included Michael Stelzner, Guy Kawasaki and more. His LinkedIn articles about “public relations 2.0” can be found on LinkedIn Pulse. Originally from Singapore, he knows a thing or two about the cuisines of Malaysia and Indonesia.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Listen to industry podcasts, know the pain points of who you’re reaching. Good Slack groups created by industry leaders will give you insights, but only if you actually log in and participate. If a senior leader puts you into a Slack group – especially one you’re allowed to market in – that’s an honor – you should be consistent with your participation and helpfulness. Also: Many content creators incorrectly think tweets must match an existing headline exactly, but that’s a good rule only if your headline is already a killer. If you want to maximize the chances that your copy will resonate, my number one tip for that is to take advantage of Twitter by making differently-worded tweets go to the same content!

Justin Wu

Justin Wu is an Information Architect turned marketer and founder of Growth.ly. He Snapchats daily about how to hack entrepreneurship and has collaborated with Wall Street Journal, CES, NASA, Intel, and more. He takes a systems approach in all the work he does and finds ways to utilize software to either build or optimize business needs. In terms of growth, he has raised over $3m in Kickstarter, 500k in app downloads, and grew SaaS companies to over $1m ARR in the first year.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Provide 10x content. What that means is that I over-deliver value to my audience that they would not get anywhere else. Everyone is used to surface level, mundane content that is always the same. Stand out by exceeding the expectations of the norm.

That means creating long-form video or writing every single time and overpowering others within your space. Create content dominance by being the major thought leader in the space. Again, a lot of other content creators are simply showing the ‘what.’ Dig deeper and show them ‘why’ and ‘how.’ That is where you provide immense value and stand out from the crowd.

Sam Hurley

Sam is a #1 ranked Digital Marketer, Personal Branding Expert & Founder of OPTIM-EYEZ.

He has achieved success for SMEs, national to international organizations while being ranked as the world’s #1 digital influencer by Webinale, #2 most influential digital marketer by Onalytica and world’s #3 content marketing influencer by ScribbleLive.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

To produce outstanding content that captivates your audience, it needs to provide VALUE. I always break this down into three main points. Think about your visitors at all times:

#1: Education — What they learn

#2: Evidence — Why they should trust it

#3: Action — How they apply it

Amazing content is useless if it isn’t targeted well.

— Why are you creating content? (What particular problem does it solve?)

— Who is reading your content, and when? (What is their stage in your sales funnel?)

— Where are they digesting your content? (On what device, via which channel?)

You must cater to your target audience at every turn. To do that, you must first know your audience! Think surveys, FAQs, Social Media…

If you don’t yet have an audience yourself, you can also scour places like Reddit and Quora for heaps of question-based material. You can then reproduce it into long-form content that attracts visitors! Of course, Google is also your friend. Use its auto-suggest feature to gain tons of fresh ideas for your content creation process, particularly question-based content. He explains it in his article on Digital Current.

Nik Sharma

Nik Sharma is the director of performance marketing at Hint, a multi-million dollar beverage company based out of San Francisco, CA. He oversees the entire eCommerce business and spends millions of dollars on advertising, content, and user experience. Prior to working at Hint, Nik led marketing strategy for some of the biggest A-list artists like Pitbull, Priyanka Chopra, MAGIC!, and others. From Hollywood to San Francisco, Nik has always been one step ahead of other marketers competing for the same attention.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Good content is an arbitrary term—the “goodness” of it is determined solely by the person consuming it. With that in mind, more than the content itself, it’s more beneficial, to you, to know the full background of the audience you’re looking to target with the content. How old are they? What is their end goal from consuming your content? Why do you want them to read it? What will they react to and what can strike a chord with them? All these factors play a role in creating good content. While you can simply follow the process of creating raw, happy, and shareable content, which will work most of the time, take a step back and try to figure out the who, what, and why of the audience consuming it.

Daniel Marlin

Daniel Marlin is an entrepreneur, marketing strategist, and business consultant. He writes about strategy, leadership, and management on some of the world’s biggest websites. Read his Entrepreneur Magazine Column.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Great content solves problems. The more you understand your audience and the types of challenges they’re forced to deal with, the easier it will be to come up with article topics that help them achieve their goals. But a good topic by itself is only as compelling as its ability to get people to click on, read, and share it. More important than the topic itself is your ability to communicate it in a way that is accessible and easy to understand. The simpler you’re able to explain something, the more people will be able to consume and benefit from your insights. And consequently, the more likely they are to pass it along to others they feel could benefit from your ideas.

Jennifer Spencer

Jennifer Spencer is a serial entrepreneur who currently serves as Head of Marketing for AppMasters.co, an app marketing agency. She is also the founder of a digital branding agency focused on helping startups write and share their stories. She is a passionate storyteller, online marketer, and social media specialist.

Her thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Create personas for your target audience. The better you understand this persona, the better you will be able to create valuable, relevant, and timely content. This also allows you to reverse-engineer to see where they are already hanging out online and what they are reading. Put yourself in the target persona’s shoes. Ask yourself why they need to be aware of this problem or idea you are writing about. It sounds simple, but take a few minutes to create an outline before writing. Ensure you capture the who/what/where/ when/why of your content. The reader will want to know what they are getting out of this piece from the get-go, and if it isn’t clear within the first few sentences, people will stop reading.

Jeremy Miller

Jeremy Miller is the Owner and head consultant of JRMillerGroup.com. What really makes us different is how we approach our clients. We are so passionate about helping our clients identify their pain points and create solutions for each one. We sit down with each of our clients and develop a very strategic plan based on them. Jeremy Miller is also the CMO of a successful startup in Indianapolis, Indiana called IDEAvize. On top of marketing consulting, Jeremy is a nationally-known speaker.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

For most businesses, it is more difficult to succeed in 2017 because there are more and more small businesses popping up each day. There is a reported over half a million small businesses starting up each month. Combined with all the new businesses, humoans now have a shorter attention span than goldfish. The state of content marketing today is kind of like the movie “Mad Max”. Mad Max is a massive chaotic rush of everyone fighting for gas and water. For content marketing, it’s a massive chaotic rush of every business fighting for the consumer’s attention. If you want your content to win, then you’re going to have to create different, creative, relevant, and engaging content. Use tools like the Content Gap Analysis System called the 5x5x5 to create content that your audience will consume and will remember.

Morgan Kling

Morgan is the founder of MarketBoost.biz, a digital marketing agency that uses Influencers and paid advertising on social media to make things go viral.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

The biggest piece of advice I could give is to make your content as native as possible. With so many ads being presented to consumers every day, the time it takes for them to turn on their subconscious “Ad-Block” is nearly instant. By creating content that is both funny and inviting while at the same time promoting a product is essential. An example is Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercials. It doesn’t even talk about beer. But, if you’re anything like me, you will probably sob and tell all your friends about the puppy in it. Just like I’m talking about it now. Sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and see what happens. Lastly, know the line and stay a safe distance from it. 

P.S. Read the book “Contagious” by Jonah Berger.

Katya Varbanova

Popularly known as LiveStreamKatya, she is a Live streamer and a strategist who helps Entrepreneurs utilize live streaming to grow their audience online and generate revenue. With over 35,000 social fans, she’s one of the early adopters on Periscope who quickly learned the ways of the platform and was able to validate and build her business idea, and within 90 days she quit her banking job. She is the CEO of Peri10k, which is a community for speakers and live streamers, where she helps entrepreneurs share their message through live streaming. Today, she is one of the 50 (out of millions of users) GOLD VIP Broadcaster with over 22,000 followers on Periscope and is passionate about teaching others how to generate revenue through live streaming.

Her thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

The days of boring, generic, “do this” or “10 top tips about X” video content is gone.  In 2017, the only VIDEOS and LIVE STREAMS that catch fire are…

– Something that is raw and real that makes you cry.

– Something funny that makes you fall off your chair.

– Something shocking that makes you curious.

– Something controversial that makes you angry.

– Something new you never heard that makes you go “Damn… I wish I had this AHA moment sooner”.

For me, what has worked the best is a combination of FUNNY + OMG SO TRUE I NEED TO SHARE THIS. Here’s an example I did, called, ‘Dear spammy network marketers,’ and my tribe loved it.

Ricky Baldasso

Ricky Baldasso is the founder and CEO of MetricDrivenMarketer.com and specializes in scaling direct response marketing funnels with paid traffic using his ROI Optimization Method. Ricky also owns one of the largest media companies in the rodeo industry where he passionately tests new marketing strategies before recommending them to his clients.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

Share insight, not just information. In other words, share insight that you have gained from direct personal experience (that no one or very few people have experienced). Also, complementing your content with a “tool” can be very powerful and help your tribe better understand the concepts you’re sharing. For example, I created “funnel ROI calculators” to help my tribe of “metric driven marketers” better understand my “ROI optimization formula” – a concept that involves improving your overall sales funnel by improving all the individual steps in your sales funnel one step at a time.

Milton George

Milton George is the managing director at MF, a digital marketing company based in Europe with clients all over the world. He also works in close collaboration with media conglomerates and established influencers as a strategist.

He’s regularly called on for advice by brands, some of which are exceeding €20 million in revenue annually. Since the digital marketing landscape is so diverse, he typically implements a custom strategy for his clients based on their needs, after discussing what the current strategy is and what the goals of the client are.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

With one word, emotion. All of our decisions are based on emotion. We only use logic to justify our actions. People want to feel the sense of belonging, ego, self-expression, and obligation. Your campaigns and content should focus on “tapping” into these emotions.

Nick Jaworski

Nick Jaworski is the Chief Strategist for Circle Social Inc., a digital marketing agency that helps organizations grow online by delivering bottom-line results.

He is obsessed with helping organizations make the shift from traditional marketing, focused solely on reach, to the new digital era of results and customer-focused marketing. When he’s not on social media, he’s spending time with his favorite person in the world – his daughter.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

To create outstanding and relevant content, you need to do a significant amount of research. This is where most marketing agencies fail. They simply create content surrounding general client requests. This research should include keyword and monthly keyword volume, frequency and recency of questions being asking on relevant community forums or social media, and quality of competitor content, to name a few. Content that drives customer behavior must be strategic and speak to what customers are actually looking for, in addition to where there are also gaps in the quality of this knowledge available online.

Bhupinder Nayyar

Bhupinder Nayyar, co-founder and COO of free publishing site burffee.com. Catch him on LinkedIn for heaps of helpful material on Public Relations, entrepreneurship, and marketing.

His thoughts on creating killer content to the target audience:

We live in a fast-changing world, where people need quick fixes and content marketers will need to focus on reinventing content tactics that are not as effective as they were before. If you want to survive with content, you have to approach your target market with rapid creativity. The right combination of creativity and reinventing content techniques can grab more attention than you think.

Everywhere is content, content, content, and only two critical components can save it, i.e. Personalization and Exclusivity. Personalization and Exclusivity are the biggest trends for 2017. Keep your customers warm and excited about everything else you can offer them. There will be a rise in adoption of Content Marketing Automation, Account-Based Marketing, and other technologies supporting this trend.

The companies that create great experiences with content will win. They should have the capacity to build meaningful experiences, for which content is an important part of delivering that experience    and making that as fun and expressive as it can be.

Having said that, with the right context in mind, going for customer retention, and providing value rather than customer acquisition is the way to success.

I hope these insights from the experts have given you enough ideas on what types of content matter the most for your target audience.

This is a Contributor Post. Opinions expressed here are opinions of the Contributor. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and cannot investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the Contributor to disclose. Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles may be professional fee-based.

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