Content marketing has grown exponentially over the past two to three years. Understandably, marketers and small business owners have felt pressure to race to get content out there in front of their target audience. The key is to focus more on the quality of content than the race everyone’s participating in to get their content seen and heard above all.
1. Be Relevant to Your Audience
This one is self-explanatory. If you want people to pay attention to your company and your marketing communications, you have to give them something they’d be interested in and present it in a unique and engaging way.
2. Content Should Serve a Purpose
What is your content’s mission? Each piece should have a purpose — to sell, to educate, to inform or to entertain. You must have a reason for creating and sharing all your content — from blog posts to web pages to infographics, videos and more. Don’t just create something because you (or your chief marketing officer) wants to produce something “cool and edgy.”
Without a concrete mission that relates to what your audience wants or needs, most content ends up rambling and unfocused, and as a result customers drift away.
3. Make Content Easy to Understand
Making your content easy to understand is about two things:
- Using plain language and describing concepts in language your audience will understand.
- Making copy less dense so it’s easier for your time-crunched consumers to pop in and find what they want immediately.
There’s a myth that using simpler words and descriptions is “dumbing down” to your audience. It’s not. Doctors, lawyers, engineers and others all want to be able to consume your main points quickly. The easier you make that for them, the more likely they are to stick around. Your audience will appreciate you respecting their time and making things convenient for them.
4. Make Your Content Visually Appealing
One of the nice things about being in the content marketing age is that many websites and apps have popped up that help you create graphics and manipulate or gain photography more easily. You don’t have to be an artist or designer to make your content appealing (though it does help!). Here are some quick tips to follow:
- Segment your articles with headers; use clean, short lists; and include photos, charts or videos.
- Ask yourself: Does your website look easy to navigate or do people have to study the page to find their way through? Leave enough white space to make your website and anything you create clean-looking at first glance.
- Capture the viewer’s attention within moments in your videos and keep the length as short as possible to get your message across yet still be compelling.
- Use graphics that complement the rest of the page and help people understand your message.
5. Keep a Consistent Brand Voice
Content marketing is used to build your brand, so it’s vital that all pieces of content you create seem like they come from the same place, with the same overall strategy behind it. If you have several people creating your content, give them guidelines to follow so that the content looks like it comes from your company, not from individuals with different personalities.
If you follow these five rules to good content, you can talk about all sorts of topics (relevant to your expertise and your audience, of course) and never run out of ways to serve the people you value most — your customers!
I adapted this blog post from a presentation I gave for Philly ‘burbs WordPress Meetup. You can see the original on SlideShare.