The great content conundrum (and how to solve it)

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We’ve found three common content problems – and one handy solution

Content marketing isn’t always an easy ride.

From the creative side, content can miss the brief, lack the right experts or not quite nail that killer insight.

On the client side, businesses can critique an article for its readability, a video for not depicting day-to-day challenges or an infographic for its choice of data.

For marketers, creators and clients alike, content needs to hit the mark in many different ways.

A toolkit of solutions

Luckily, content marketing is a fantastic way of solving problems creatively.

Cue the NatWest Business Hub toolkits.

Here at Progressive Content we’ve created a content package for RBS Group that offers multiple solutions. For the launch of their shiny new thought leadership website, NatWest asked us to envision content that would address a number of pain points for their business and corporate customers. NatWest’s primary goal was to give businesses actionable insight: tips they could actually understand, use, and pass on.

So, we set to work producing bespoke multimedia content packages – or ‘toolkits’ – featuring articles, videos and infographics.

Focusing on an individual problem or topic, the toolkits are led by a succinct mission statement: “Our toolkits offer practical solutions to every day business challenges. They offer actionable insight to help build your business and improve decision-making. Each one is focused on a single business challenge.”

Some aimed at SMEs, some at large corporates, the toolkits tackle a range of genuine issues: from how to engage employees, comply with GDPR and protect from cyber fraud.

Three problems, one solution

So what can we learn from the toolkit approach?

We want to show you how the right package of content can be effective in tackling not one, but many problems.

Let’s take a look at three common issues content marketers face and how the toolkits resolve them:

Problem 1: “Content doesn’t address my real business problems”

A common ailment afflicting clients and businesses is that content isn’t relatable enough. It can be all too easy for content to become removed from the audience, be too generic or try to do all things for all people.

The toolkits succeed because of the specific and considered nature of their scope; they tailor advice by business size so it can be more relevant. As the goal is to deliver actionable insight, the content has to be clear, practical and – crucially – realistic in its problem-solving advice.

This GDPR checklist article is a shining example of this. Businesses can use it as a tangible to-do list of what steps to take and actions to make.

The articles and videos are brought to life with interviews and case studies to highlight day-to-day problems, such as how businesses can get paid on time.

Key lesson: When content is powerful enough to say “you’re not alone” in your daily issues, your audience will be ready to listen.

Problem 2: “It takes too long to engage with content”

Functionality, readability and user experience should never be underestimated. A video that takes too long to get to the point, or an article with broken links will certainly put your audience off.

Respect that your audience is full of busy people. Time is a luxury and they will often need content that’s easy to digest. Acknowledging this, the toolkits prioritise speedy consumption without compromising on quality.

The ‘boost your business in 60 seconds’ videos deliver on what they promise, featuring quick tips and clear graphics for SMEs. Similarly, the ‘quick-fix’ series gives top tips for time-sensitive issues, such as how to get out of a cash-flow crisis, in a pithy, readable format.

Key lesson: While your content should be editorially strong and tackle real issues, on a practical level, it needs to be digestible and user-friendly.

Problem 3: “The content isn’t expert enough”

A lack of specific and, again, relatable expertise is a common pitfall of content creators. Thought leadership is a tricky and contentious brief as it involves designating a leader or expert in a field – a decision that’s inevitably subjective and often contested.

But a judicious combination of journalistic variety, thorough research and real-world case studies can help relieve debates around expertise.

Experts should be carefully selected and given enough room to speak so their true voice can come across. Video Q&As are especially helpful here as they showcase experts as exactly that: expert.

The NatWest toolkits empower specialists with an ‘ask the experts’ series. The CEO of advisory firm Optimum Professional Services is given a voice on selling your business by taking his real experience and showing how it can apply to other businesses with a pragmatic closing checklist. Similarly, a director of d&t, a large and award-winning accountancy firm, succinctly shares his expertise on budgeting and forecasting.

Key lesson: If your content creators can trust your experts, then your audience can trust your content.

To achieve their goal of empowering business decision-makers with actionable insights, the NatWest toolkits use carefully-chosen experts to address business issues – all in a readable format.

You can’t fix a house with one screwdriver, you need a range of equipment at your disposal. The NatWest toolkits show how a package of content can be a one-stop cure for multiple content complaints.

Take a look at other ways we can help your business here.

Emily Vincent