No doubt about it, content marketing is big news this year. Ogilvy is calling 2013 ‘the year of content marketing‘; Forbes heralds this as ‘the next digital marketing revolution‘; Econsultancy’s latest research reports that 90% of in-house marketers think that this form of marketing will become more important this year. According to our Sharon Tanton, content marketing will be strategy that everyone is wearing in 2013, destined to become ‘even more fashionable than the Leopard Print Onesie’! It really has taken off.
As more and more businesses realise the potential of creating and sharing content on the web as the new way to attract and engage customers, we’ll witness a world awash with content – pages and pages of web copy, blogs, newsletters, infographics, e-books, videos, tips and Tweets. Some of it will hit the spot with potential customers, but a lot of it won’t. How do you make sure your content cuts through all the noise?
Don’t be content with just ‘content’
Let’s go back to basics. ‘Content’ is the words on the page you are reading. It’s the copy on your website, the blog you posted last night, the videos and images that you share. When we’re talking about content we just mean words, knowledge and information.
What lifts a piece of content beyond the ordinary is the value it has to the person reading it. The term we use is ‘valuable content’.
Valuable content is supercharged content – words, knowledge and information shaped for a particular audience. It is content with a bigger purpose, useful information created for a niche; content with meaning; content that hits the mark.
In 2013 it’s no good just having a blog, being on Twitter, or bunging up more web pages. Producing a quantity of any old content isn’t the answer; it is only high quality, valuable stuff that is trusted, read and shared. If you regularly share this type of information – on your website, via your blog, social media feeds, newsletters, or in person – you will draw people to your business. You become the company that inspires, informs, understands and offers clear answers, and the obvious place to turn when the time comes to buy.
Make your content valuable
Whatever format it is delivered in, valuable content shares certain attributes.
If you want to get results from your content marketing, put some H.E.A.R.T. into it! Produce valuable content that is:
- Helpful. It makes a difference, it answers a genuine question.
- Entertaining. It provokes a reaction. Smile, laugh, or think – people respond to it and want to share it.
- Authentic. Genuine and original. Written from the heart, it tells a story that people understand and respond to.
- Relevant. It is rooted firmly in the client’s world, it makes perfect sense.
- Timely. It is there when you need it. Crafted at the right time, it hits the audience when they are most receptive.
The companies that really win in this new world exhibit all these valuable qualities across the variety of content they create and share.
So if you want success from content marketing, don’t be content with just content. Be generous and get creative. Turn your knowledge and expertise into information that has meaning to your type of clients and customers. Make your content valuable and watch your marketing fly.
Find out how in our new book – Valuable Content Marketing – how to make quality content the key to your business success.
Other content you might like:
- What is valuable content? Sonja gives some of her favourite examples here.
- Crap. Why the biggest single threat to content marketing is content marketing. An excellent slideshow by Velocity Partners.
- What makes quality content? Some of our favourite commentators give their thoughts.