You can find millions of references online about the importance of creating quality content or great content. But what exactly does this mean? Content marketing has become huge, which also means that there’s more and more content everywhere you go online. This makes it increasingly harder to differentiate yourself.
I actually believe that most content marketing is outdated. That is, marketers tend to use familiar strategies that have already, for the most part, stopped working. I will explore this concept in more detail in future posts. For now, however, let’s look at a few hard-and-fast rules for creating great content, no matter what your niche, platform or industry.
On Topic -You can be the world’s greatest writer, but if you aren’t writing something that’s relevant to your audience, it won’t mean much. Relevance depends on who you’re writing for and where. If you have a website dedicated to a certain topic, whether this is gaming, dogs, golf, travel or dieting, most of your content should have something to do with this topic. As an aside, it’s find to deviate once in a while -especially to get in some personal anecdotes, which can make your site more interesting. But if you’re all over the place with topics, it will difficult to find an audience.
Clarity -Most good content has a central point. This is part of being relevant, as in the above suggestion to be on topic, but it’s a step further. In addition to sticking to your main topic, you should also have at least one main point or theme for your blog post, social media post, video or whatever it may be.
Accuracy –If you are publishing facts, statistics or quotes, make sure they are accurate. There’s an incredible amount of inaccurate information circulating around the web. Just as an example, many people attribute quotes to famous people such as Einstein and Gandhi, but if do a bit of research , you’ll find that many of these quotes are falsely attributed or simply made up. Take a few extra minutes to double check facts that you’re not certain about.
Readability –Content should be easy to absorb. This doesn’t mean it has to be written at a simplistic level (though some will tell you never to write over an 8th grade level to reach the largest audience. Again, this depends on who your readers are). But you shouldn’t, for example, have endless lines of unbroken text. Break up your paragraphs, use bulleted or numbered lists, add visually interesting content, such as images, videos or infographics.
Have a Goal in Mind –What is the purpose of your content? You may want to simply get your name or brand out there; you may be building a mailing list or pre-selling a product. If it’s applicable, make sure you have a call-to-action somewhere in your content, preferably at the end. This can be a button, opt-in form, link or just a suggestion of some sort.
These are some fairly general tips about creating quality content. Your goal, however, should be to develop your own personalized content based on criteria such as your personality, goals, type of website or business and who your audience is. For help in developing your own content marketing strategy, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Vaynerchuk shares some valuable content marketing tips in this video: