The Internet is filled with content, and virtually all of it is crap. Crap, obviously, is in the eye of the beholder, but when I write “crap” I’m referring to all those words that no one really wants to read because they’re poorly strung together, ridiculously self-serving, or just don’t have any value for the reader.
These days, marketers everywhere are obsessed with content creation, and content is being churned out like never before. But they continue to struggle to create “quality content” – content that rises above the lofty status of crap. A significant problem is that not that many people in the business world know the difference between good content and bad content; professional content creators (we used to call them “writers”) are required in order to succeed.
Here are F.I.V.E. (actually four, but the acronym is “FIVE” – get it? Or maybe this is just more crap…) attributes of remarkable content to help marketers understand how to achieve content marketing success:
If great content falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? No, it does not. Before you build a content strategy, you need to have a keyword strategy, in which you identify the search terms that are relevant to your business and make sure you can rank highly for them. But you need to do it the right way – this isn’t that old-style SEO-driven writing that made no sense to humans but attracted unthinking bots and boosted search engine rankings. Google’s new algorithms made that kind of writing obsolete and sent a shudder through the world of SEO pirates. Now, you need to create content that people like and share.
You need to create content that people want to read. It starts with a great headline that draws in those readers. It includes great images that make for a pleasurable experience. And it revolves around great storytelling techniques that engage the reader and make them care about what you’re writing.
This is the most important aspect. The content you create has to be worthwhile for your audience. Are you providing value? Are you giving your prospects advice they can use? Are you answering questions that your customers have? Are you moving your industry conversation forward? If you’re providing valuable content, it builds trust with your audience. It draws them closer. Ultimately, that makes them much more likely to become customers.
Easy to Read
This is where so many content strategies fall apart. It needs to be well-written. So many people think that writing long is the same as writing well. This is 180 degrees wrong. Write concisely. Get to the point and get out. Most professionals can’t do this because they’ve never been trained to do it. So hire professional writers.