The irony about content marketing is that many people focus on the ‘marketing’ part to the detriment of the ‘content’ aspect, which really defeats the purpose.
Because the quality of your content will largely determine the effectiveness of your marketing, and if your content isn’t up to snuff, you better figure out what’s wrong.
As marketing expert Arnie Kuenn said, “don’t waste your time, money and most importantly, your opportunity to influence by creating sub-par content.”
So what is good content?
The simplest way to define good content is that it must always answer this question: Does it make a consumer’s life better or fulfill a want or need?
But of course within that question there are principles that you can implement to determine if you are adhering to the goal of bringing value to your audience.
Let’s take a dive into four strategies that can help you know where your content ranks on a meter of poor to great.
1. It’s Targeted
You’ve probably heard the words ‘targeted market’ more times than you want, but there’s a reason for that, because without knowing WHO you are creating content for, how can you know WHAT content to create?
Good content is targeted content, which means that whether you are creating videos, infographics, white papers or live stream video events, you need to make sure that it matches the wants and needs that you’ve identified as being of paramount importance to your targeted audience.
In reference to this subject, digital analyst and author Brian Solis wrote, “know who they are and create content tailored for them.”
For example, if your consumers are young and active, the bulk of your content needs to be short, concise and entertaining, with a heavy emphasis on visual images, gifs and videos.
2. It Provides Value
You hear the word ‘valuable’ a lot when it comes to content creation. And that’s because good content must provide value.
So what is value in this context?
It simply means content that answers a consumer’s fundamental question: What’s in it for me?
When your audience reads a blog piece on your website, did they learn something new? Did you solve a problem for them?
Did you provide them with a new angle for them to view an old subject?
Did you teach them how to use a product or service? Did you explain a concept they previously found difficult to understand? Did you elicit emotion such as laughter, anger, doubt or surprise?
Any piece of content that doesn’t provide some value to an end user should be jettisoned from your marketing.
3. It’s Credible
The need for content that is well researched and well sourced was important long before ‘fake news’ became the buzzword of 2017.
But now it’s essential, because your consumers are a suspicious lot, and if they sniff out something that isn’t genuine, your brand will take a hit.
A big one.
You can’t afford to create or distribute content that doesn’t stand up to the BS meter that many consumers now use on every single piece of content presented to them.
So make sure your content undergoes a rigid quality review before you release it to the world. Because in this era of screenshots, content never dies, and a major error can live in infamy for years.
And by the way, you should apply your quality control testing to any links you include in your content, because the very act of linking tells your audience you believe that source is credible.
4. It’s Diverse
Diversity is a controversial buzzword in all aspects of our culture, but in this context, it refers to content that isn’t predictable.
If you are constantly creating the same type of content, your audience will quickly grow bored and move on.
And that’s true even if that content is outstanding, because part of your job as a creator is to vary the type of content you distribute so that your audience is always kept entertained.
That means your content load should include short blog pieces, curated pieces, videos, infographics, live Q&A sessions, live streaming events that introduce new products and services, eBooks, case studies, interviews, and podcasts.
Does that mean that you have to create all of these types of content?
The answer is no, but you should mix things up so that your content always feels fresh, interesting and original, which are three of the biggest ways to engage your audience.
Good Content Is the Root of All Marketing
While these four strategies are by no means exhaustive, you can use them as solid guidelines to determine if your content meets the quality standards necessary to deliver the very best to your targeted audience.
It’s also important to remember that you must constantly update your content, and you must remain aware of the trends taking place in your industry so that you can offer your own unique spin on these changes.
If you want to learn more about content marketing strategies, or you need general marketing advice, please contact us today, so we can provide you with the resources to achieve your goals.