How Important is Structure for Content Marketing?

Written by Nick Stamoulis

It’s true that content marketing is an important part of your digital marketing strategy. Following a content schedule is effective and can help keep you focused. In fact, you have been consistent on a regular basis. However, your results aren’t quite where you expect. What could be going wrong?

Of course, you know that there is an art to writing great content for your audience. Assuming that you understand the needs of your audience and your content marketing is well poised to meet those needs, there could be other things that are going wrong, such as the structure and flow of the content. This element is more important than we realize.

Understand the Basics on How to Structure Your Content

When we learn how to write, we first learn how to string words together to form effective sentences. From there, we gain a deeper understanding of paragraphs, then we learn how to logically flow an article from start to finish.

The basis of this is best summarized by Dale Carnegie. While his advice was meant to help people give more effective presentations, it absolutely pertains to writing content. “Tell the audience what you‘re going to say, say it;. then tell them what you‘ve said.” In just sixteen words, Dale Carnegie has told us exactly how to structure our content, particularly with articles, presentations, and videos.

Know the Expectations of Your Audience

It is important to figure out who your audience is and what types of information they may be looking for. There are several ways to approach this, but in general, you should be creating content for every phase of your buying cycle. That way, you can attract your entire audience, not just a subset of it.

In general, your audience expects that your content will deliver on the information it has promised. How would you feel if an article seems that it was going to be about a certain topic, but then the content were so unfocused and messy that you walked away feeling worse than you started? Chances are pretty good you’d click away, and maybe won’t ever return to the website again.

Failing to Structure Your Content Frustrates Your Audience

If your content disappoints your audience, they will click away from your article as quickly as possible and not return. When this happens, the most common culprit is that the article simply wasn’t well structured. Here is a checklist of some thing you should think about when writing.

  • Watch your titles. The copy of your article should continue the expectations set by the title. If your article says it is discussing five ways to do something, you should make sure the article is really doing that.
  • Use subheadings properly. Your subheadings should help the article flow, and should match the content underneath it. They are a great tool to help people scan the article, as long as they are used correctly. If not, this will only add to a reader’s frustrations.
  • Don’t skimp on your introduction. A good introduction paragraph will establish what the content is about, and then briefly set the expectation of the information one can find by reading the rest.
  • Make sure you have a conclusion. Too often, writers skip the conclusion all together. This is a missed opportunity. You should use the introduction to either summarize your thoughts, or to wrap things up effectively.

If you don’t pay attention to the structure of your article, this will leave your readers frustrated and they will click away from your site and might never return. Learn how to properly structure your articles and it will make your audience happy.

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