We’ve all heard the reasons why content marketing is essential to any business–for SEO purposes, for demonstrating expertise and gaining credibility, and probably most important, for creating an audience. At the end of the day, that’s what we’re all after–that’s what has true value.
But you’ve been creating content for a while now. And you can’t see that it’s had much of an impact. So how do you change that? We all need to know how to create great content consistently.
You have to have something incredible to share with them. You have to be known as someone who delivers unbelievable value in terms of information and insight, each and every time.
The concepts below come from Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute and I’ve heard him voice these points several times. I know they are that important because when I focus on ensuring my content has each of these elements, my content gets read, shared and complimented. That’s just how important they are.
In order to keep them coming back, and establish your element of differentiation in what you deliver, make sure each piece of content includes each of the six elements.
1. Make it about them. Your readers, customers, etc., don’t care about you. They only care about themselves and the problems they have. Too often, our content is too centrally focused on us and the value and benefits we provide. But we really need to deliver those concepts in a fashion that shows their problems and issues are at the heart of what our products and services can address. Make it about them and your content is sure to get shared and encourage some engagement.
2. Fill a need. What you write about or talk about has to, in some way, be useful to the customer—without having anything to do with what you offer as products and services. The information you share should answer some unmet need or answer some question of your customer.
3. Have a point of view. For some time, just providing some related information or list of items was enough to get reads and comments. Not so anymore. Because the internet is overflowing with information, it’s not enough anymore to simply provide wiki-like information for your industry. You have to have some kind of viewpoint or opinion. If you don’t, the reader won’t see you as an authority. You’ll get lost in the minutia.
4. Think and act human. This is a good follow-on to point 3 above on having an opinion. Ensure that your content actually has a personality that represents your company. If you tend to use saracasm, that’s find, if you tend to add humor, that works too. Just avoid simply stating some facts. You need a point of view and style of voice to create an element of differentiation.
5. Make it the best it can be. Investing time in crafting a great message will never go amiss. You want to be sure that you are creating the very best information that can be found on your topic or industry. You need to provide consistent, high quality content to ensure that your audience will read it, return for more, and share it across their networks.
6. Be consistent. I think this is the most important concept behind successful marketing—no matter what kind of marketing. Consistency is the most important notion when it comes to delivering positive marketing results. I always say routine plus consistency equals momentum. That’s the way to success in anything marketing related. For too many, the consistency lacks and they never get to any kind of momentum. You have to commit to some kind of cadence and then deliver to that cadence on a regular basis. I’ve learned that over and over through the years.
I think these concepts are so important that I’m using these six items as a checklist prior to publishing content for myself and clients. I know that perfection doesn’t come immediately. It’s taking some practice to ensure these items are built into our process. But practice makes it better and better, especially if you’re doing it consistently.