What is content marketing?
Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to engage current and potential consumer bases. Content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
*Source: Content Marketing Institute
I know what it is, now what?
I like to simplify where many want to complicate. Below are what I believe to be the top attributes for content marketing that will drive results.
If you have spent any time working in marketing then this should seem like common sense to you.
Bottom line you want to develop content that inspires and connects with your audience with a goal of bringing them closer to you and your brand. You want them to click, double click, share, and come back for more.
25 Qualities of Incredible Content Marketing for Business!
1. Goal Driven – Set goals and objectives for each piece. Is the goal to inspire, educate, establish authority, generate leads? Should support higher-level business and marketing goals and objectives.
2. Audience-focused – Content must be focused on the reader more so than your own self-promotion. Know your audience. Know what they want, need, desire. Get in their head and connect with them via content that helps them in business and/or life.
3. Human – connects with your audience in a human way. Your content speaks in language and words your audience knows and understands. The tone encompasses your brand personality and values.
4. Findable – If your target audience can’t find it, it’s all for nothin’!
5. Shareable – Make it easy for people to share with their friends on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, email, etc.
6. Simple – Shouldn’t require a PHD in rocket science to understand.
7. Authoritative – Author speaks and writes from knowledge, experience, and authority.
8. Engages – People are inspired to click, double click, comment and become part of the community.
9. Actionable – Should be clear what action the reader should take to learn more, join the community, contact you for further information, hire you, request a proposal, etc.
10. Real – Should have a healthy balance of transparency, authenticity, and professionalism.
11. Believable – There should be no doubt that they can trust you and believe what you say. Many factors play a role with this including design & layout of the site, source of content, grammar, quality of information, authority and more.
12. Validated – If facts, data, or stats are used the source is clearly provided and all can be validated as truth. This will also help establish authority and ensure content is believable.
13. Valuable – Provides the reader with valuable content to help them learn, grow or be inspired.
14. Relevant – Should be relevant to where the reader is in business or life.
15. Resonates – Should invoke a feeling of shared emotion or belief with the reader. They should understand and be able to relate to the content, context and meaning.
16. Compelling – Grabs attention, unique enough to read, understand, persuade, change thinking and remember.
17. Integrated – Not stand-alone information. Your brand, expertise, experience, services offered should support the content to best establish authority, believability, etc.
18. Educational – Provides value in regard to knowledge and teaching of a topic reader is interested in.
19. Passionate – Should be obvious the writer is passionate about topic and is not just writing to drive blog traffic or other objectives.
20. Positive – Who wants to read a blog that does nothing but complains? Not many people. Content should be positive and make the person feel better, know more and be inspired to do more whenever possible.
21. Forward-thinking – Should not dwell in the past, old technology but should at minimum be present day and preferably forward thinking. Take people along with where you are going if you are a visionary person.
22. Inspires – Inspire readers to learn more, do more, be more and become one with you and your brand.
23. Connects – Inspires the reader to connect with you and your brand. Your goal is to build and nurture a relationship with them.
24. Achieves – Helps the reader, viewer or listener achieve their goals. If you focus first on helping the reader achieve their goals, you will achieve yours by default.
25. Conclusive – It has an end. It doesn’t just ramble and ramble but it is clear when the content piece starts and ends
Avoid the Following:
- Focusing too much on sales. You don’t want to sound like a used car salesperson.
- Overly opinionated.
- Closed minded.
- Argumentative. Don’t bite the fingers off of your readers who may comment with a differing opinion. Be open to new ideas and opinions.
- Random Acts of Marketing – If it’s not in the budget, not in the plan and not integrated then chances are it’s a RAM. RAMs will eat every last dollar of your ROI for lunch, breakfast & dinner. Avoid them at all cost!