19th August 2016
By Emma Wilder
Before we get started, don’t panic. Thankfully for all of us, the recipe for great content does not start in a lab and is nowhere near as complicated as the above image makes it look. This piece is going to start by pointing out that there’s definitely a difference between good content and great content.
Great, valuable content builds your reputation as an industry authority, it makes people excited about what you’re going to produce next; you want people to come back to your website after all. What’s more, creating valuable, engaging content just makes life a little more interesting for you and your readers.
Of course, this is always much easier said than done. When you’ve finished writing a piece, often you’re more engaged with it than the readers it’s intended for. Naturally, this makes it tricky to identify whether or not it holds enough value to be useful from a marketing point of view. Not to worry, though, we’ve come up with a not-so-secret recipe for content success.
We can’t really stress this enough. Your content needs to be original and unique. Otherwise, what’s stopping your audience from finding that information elsewhere? The answer is, not a lot, in case you were wondering. Originality comes in all shapes and sizes; you could have a great tone of voice making your brand personality truly yours; you could pick a subject that is so out there that no one else could possibly have written about it (although we don’t recommend this if it’s not relevant). You could have a unique, catchy title, but more on this later. However you go about it, originality is vital in making you look authoritative, interesting and unique.
Something that is immediately useful to the reader
Whilst we’re on the subject of authority we just want to remind you that the point of content is to make you look like the best in your field and to build customer trust and loyalty. A great way of doing this is to continually create content about what you know and provide your readers with something that they can take away and use immediately, or refer back to in the future (this piece was written especially for you, you’re welcome). If it works, which it should because you’re the industry authority, customers will come flocking back time and again for even more handy information and will stay loyal to your brand come rain or shine.
A great title
We said we’d come back to this, and we kept our promise. A great title is key for creating a unique and original feel. An original title will always make you stand out from the crowd and ensure that your piece attracts attention to your site and retains customers (you still have to make sure your content is good too, though).
It’s not absolutely essential that you throw facts and figures into your piece; sometimes, the piece just doesn’t call for it. But where you do use them, please make sure they’re accurate and up to date. An out of date or irrelevant statistic is hardly likely to be of any use to your readers now and we’ve already talked about how important it is to always be useful; useful content equals valuable content.
An engaging tone of voice
Creating a tone of voice is crucial for creating your brand identity. And knowing your brand identity is crucial for knowing what content is going to be a valuable asset to your business. An engaging tone of voice and a strong brand identity are only going to make your content more interesting and moreish for your readers. It will also build that all important trust factor. If you’re consistent, customers will grow to like your tone and trust that all of your products are as consistently great as your writing is. To create this, describe your business and the way you want it to sound in 3 words and then aim for that personality to shine through in your writing. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it will be easy to replicate every time.
Make it eye-catching
Break writing up from time to time with pictures, videos, graphs etc. On the whole, this will make your content much more inviting to read and so people will. A big block of text on its own is daunting for anyone.
Pick timeless subject matter
This doesn’t have to apply to all content. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to document anything newsworthy going on in your industry. But where pieces giving advice are concerned pick subject matter that will last and last. That way, anytime people need some advice or clarification about elements of your industry, you’ll be ready and waiting with valuable, ready-made content that’s also engaging.
Use it alongside social media
All elements of marketing work best when you use them together. This 100% applies to content too. If no one is ever going to see your writing then it’s not valuable at all; to you or the non-existent reader. Integrating content with social media campaigns is a great way to increase its visibility. Just make sure you match up the tone of voice so that your brand is consistent across platforms.
We love content marketing. It’s just one of the things we do best. If you need any more help with your content marketing strategy or just have a few questions for us, get in touch or pop in for a coffee, we always love to chat.