It's only by understanding the challenges and then changing what you do; will you get different results.
I think some companies' approach to creating knowledge content can be compared to a man who needs to visit a doctor, but keeps trying to self-medicate. Like a stubborn man refusing or postponing a visit to a doctor, many companies merrily push out content and communication just as they like, without questioning the purpose or whether they are solving a problem.
Producing content for personas
When crafting content, you should have a particular audience in mind, at a certain stage in their buyer journey. This means you are not producing something to appeal to everyone.
Understand your target audience, spend time with them, ask them questions. Recognise what it is like to be them, what drives them, what is important to them, what their problems and concerns are, and how you can make their life easier. Make sure your knowledge content provides value by helping to solve your customer's issues and relates to a stage in the buyer journey.
Think from the outside
Most companies' ambition is to be customer-centric, but the reality when producing communications can be quite different. Often the starting point is wrong. Next time you have a content meeting, start by asking 'What are our customer's/ potential customer's problems that we can solve?'.
This will help you take the first steps to be found online when your customers are searching for solutions to their problems.
When a prospective customer does find your company, what do you want their first impression to be? A piece of value-added knowledge content that will help start a relationship based on value, or a page trying to sell a product when the customer is not yet ready?
Moving from product-oriented marketing to an inbound perspective
Today, businesses and people search for products and solutions online, not in a glossy printed catalogue. Many companies find it challenging to shift from a product-oriented perspective. I think you must ask:
Is your customer really at the heart of our communications and content?
How are we adding value for our potential and existing customers?
How do your colleagues and internal teams work together to ensure they are adding the most value for customers?
What is our thought-process when we create knowledge content?
What are we doing to ensure we are strengthening the relationship with your customers? And who is responsible for that process?
Answering these questions will help you see where you are now and how far you still have to go.
Having the internal skills and capabilities to make it happen
Implementing a new way for your business to create content can be tough. Be prepared to have to win people over internally.
What are the very basics of making this happen? You'll need access to people in your company who are happy to be identified as experts, and the time in their diary to be interviewed. You'll need to be able to plan and conduct interviews and be ready to amend your approach if you are not getting what you need. An editorial/ reviewing procedure needs to be set up; this requires time. Yes, things will evolve, as you see what works, but you must get the basics right first.
Creating knowledge content
Now you know why; how do you create content that converts? Have a look at how you can produce great knowledge content.