Editor’s note: This is the third post in my series about content marketing. To read the first post about the benefits of content, click here. To read the second post about creating a content strategy click here.

One of the by-products of the rise of content marketing is that there’s more content being created every single day than most of us can imagine. According to some estimates, for example, as many as 2 million new blog posts are published every single day. And that’s just blog posts! Think about all of the other pieces of content — the articles and videos, the podcasts and reports, among many other things — that are also being produced at breakneck speeds.

With such huge volumes of content available, you have to work really hard to ensure that your content rises above the noise so that it gets actually gets consumed.

So how exactly do you do that?

The best way to start is by making sure that every piece of content you create has real value for your target audience. People’s time is limited and they are rarely if ever prepared to waste it consuming content that’s more self-serving than substantive. Instead, they look for content that’s inherently useful because it answers their questions, shares information that they want, or in some way meets one of their other needs.

To make your content useful for your audience you need to put the insights you gathered while developing your content marketing strategy to use. Assuming you know who your audience is, what they care about, and what concerns and pain points they have, it won’t be hard to deduce what types of content they’re most interested in.

While creating useful content that’s customized for your specific target audience is a big step in the right direction, that tactic alone won’t suffice. You not only need great information, you also need to think about how you say it. For example you want to make sure that your content is:

  • Easy to read. Focus on creating content that’s concise, error free, and that isn’t filled with jargon or terminology that no one understands. Remember, just because what you have written makes sense to you, doesn’t mean it will make sense to everyone else.
  • Engaging. Make sure that your content talks to your audience, not at them. Use personal pronouns like “you” and “our” to create a level of familiarity that you can’t achieve using the third person. Not only that, try to create pithy content that grabs people’s attention and is easy for them to scan so that they can navigate to the points they care about most.
  • Consistent. Your content also has to demonstrate continuity so that it all has the same style and tone no matter who in your organization is producing it. That means ensuring that all of your content creators adhere to same standards.

In addition to how you write your content, you need to think about other aspects of it, such as how easy it is to find and share. To facilitate finding and sharing, you should place the right keywords in the right places and embed social sharing tools in your content. And if you have intend to share your content globally, it has to be easy to translate, which again requires clear, concise, and consistent language.

Even if you follow all of the advice outlined in this post, your content will still fall short if it doesn’t do one last thing. It has to be optimized to drive conversions.

Conversions are simply desired actions (filling out a form, liking a page, etc.) that your audience takes as a result of consuming your content.  They are the ultimate goal of content marketing and so you need to make sure that every piece of content you create will drive them.

To improve conversions, your content should include compelling calls to action (CTAs) that clearly articulate what you want your audience to do and why they should consider doing so. You should experiment with your subject lines and headlines, change the colors and fonts of your CTAs, and see what gets the best results. Sometimes even small tweaks (like the ones suggested in this post) can make a big difference in terms of how effective your content is at driving conversions.

Creating great content isn’t easy, but if you want you want to stand out, it’s essential. To find out more about what it takes to create great content, check out Acrolinx’s eBook, “Speak with One Voice: How to Gain Competitive Advantage in the Content Era.”

In the next post in this series, we will be talking about content distribution.