1. Know what content your audience wants & give it to them.
When it comes to reading an article, watching a video, listening to a podcast, or consuming any other type of content - people, myself included, are looking for information, entertainment, or some other value proposition. If you want content that attracts your target audience - well just give them what they want. To do that of course, you need to understand your target audience.
2. Figure out how they want to receive it.
Have you ever been told, "we all learn in different ways?" Well since I started teaching - I realized just how true that is. Some people want to watch videos, some want the Cliff Notes version of the lesson first before diving into all of the content, the list goes on and on. The same goes for branded content. While customizing content for everyone is a ridiculous ask, what you can do is turn each piece of content into a 1 - 2 additional form factors - slide shows, videos. GIFs, Infographics, e-books, etc. - then see which ones perform the best and increase your creation of those types of content. Need some inspiration? Fallon Tonight does a great job of this. Personally, I don't have a TV but I get my dose of Fallon Tonight with their GIFs and Video Clips. Constant Entertainment.
3. Go where they are looking for this content.
As you may already know, if you build it - they won't come. Creating content is only half the battle - the other half is getting it in front of your target audience. Why not start where they are actively looking for this content? Say your customer is planning a wedding and you sell flowers and you're looking for a place to distribute your "How to choose the best flowers for your wedding style" blog post. We'll I'd say Pinterest is a good place to start. In 2015, there were 38 million Pinterest boards dedicated to wedding planning and that number keeps climbing. In addition to getting insight from their actual best friend, brides turned to their digital best friend Google when looking for vendors. So when your looking to distribute your content - start where your audience is already seeking the information you have.
4. Go Where they are spending their time (as long as they don't mind).
Besides going to where your audience is actively seeking to be entertained or informed, go where they are spending their time - as long as they don't mind hearing from you there. You don't want to be the dad crashing the party (unless you're the really cool dad that is just passing through).
5. Be as quick as possible
The average attention span of adults has gone down from 12 seconds to 8. Yup, you have 8 seconds to get your point across and you have even less time to capture the attention of your audience before they continue reading. I know, your probably thinking - "Nikki reading this post alone is way longer than 8 seconds." But then I have to ask - did you read every word, or just look at the image, read the headline and skim the text? In fact, I bet a number of readers won't even see this sentence. ;)
6. While providing additional resources if they want to know more.
In case you haven't noticed, there have been links throughout this post. Yup - that's basically what I mean here. People don't always have the time when they get to your post to read everything about your topic, so link to other articles, sources, etc. where they can learn more. That is why Pocket was created right?
7. Be consistent (and on brand)
And after you've done all of this once, do it over and over again - staying true to your brand. After all, people want to know what type of content they're going to get from you and that it will meet their needs. Let's be honest - if you hated this article there's a slim chance that you'll keep coming back for more.
Bottom Line: As my grandmother use to say - keep it simple! Do your homework, find out what your target audience is looking for, give it to them where they are looking for it, give it to them where they are spending their time, and do it consistently over and over again. Always make sure you are staying on brand - just because your target audience may be planning a wedding and looking to buy a house, doesn't mean your flower shop should be talking about mortgages.