Engaging online with your organization’s audience is of course vital for successful marketing. But not all online engagement is created equal: there’s messages an audience might engage with and there’s messages an audience wants to engage with. As the amount of stuff vying for your customer’s attention grows, the likelihood of them reading your Facebook status or opening your email dwindles. It is more important than ever to craft messages your audience actually wants to read. In other words, good content.

So instead of just hoping that your audience takes the time to interact with your brand, give them a reason to. Create content that provides value —something educational, entertaining or interesting— and they will reward you with their attention and gratitude. Some readers will become customers, some will simply read and move on, and some will share the article with others. By providing value, content builds trust and establishes lasting relationships with your audience. But creating something that teaches or entertains can be difficult, so we’ve prepared a few tips for content creation:

Do What You Know – Whether you want to create a video tutorial or a weekly podcast, address an issue you have plenty of experience with. Not only will it be easier for you, you’ll be able to speak to the common problems and offer more interesting insights.

Have Test Readers – Being clear and understandable is essential to having great content. So after you write a blog post or create a webinar, it’s always a good idea to have someone unfamiliar with the subject look at it. Having test readers from outside your industry can expose areas of confusion and help you make your content as clear as possible.

Don’t Forget the End User – As you plan any content creation you should be continually answering the question “why,” because content marketing only works if your content is worth someone’s attention. A how-to post should detail a specific task, a video should give an interesting look into your industry and an infographic should provide information on a single topic.

Always Be Looking For Topics – Choosing a topic can be the most difficult part of content creation. To ease the pain, keep a running list of questions from customers, recurrent problem areas and interesting facts about your industry. Update the list whenever a topic presents itself and get ideas for content from others in your organization.