Creating content that stands out is vital for modern marketing. In the age of information abundance, you’re constantly competing with other sources, including your competition, for a prospect’s attention. In order to come out on top, your content must stand out. Here are four ways to ensure that your content does just that:
Be relevant and interesting
First, you must create interesting content. There is no market for content for content’s sake. In order to stand a chance in this economy, you must deliver relevant content that exceeds expectations. In other words, you must make your information more valuable (even if just in perception) than that of your competitors. Through experience in content marketing, Marketo defined six rules that, when followed diligently, bring success:
- It is not promotional. Promotional materials will neither excite nor inspire, both critical components of content marketing.
- It is relevant. Generic materials that are not highly relevant to a reader will not result in success. When writing content, you must make sure it will be useful to the reader, regardless of whether it supports your company message.
- It closes a gap. Content should answer a business question or problem. Giving people information about topics where there is no need for information will be a waste of your time – and your audience’s.
- It is well written. Poorly written thought leadership not only leads to poor results, it might also hurt your company’s reputation. Take time to ensure content is presented in a thoughtful manner and is free of errors.
- It is relevant to your company. If the content you create does not support business objectives in any way, it is a waste of resources to produce. Keep business goals in mind when creating content.
- It gives proof. Since you write to support a business goal, your content may seem biased. Make sure you back up the positioning in your content either through third-party quotes and testimonials or through actual metrics and statistics.
Vary content mediums
Second, you must vary content mediums. Delivering your content using one medium only is like fishing using a single lure; you might catch one fish but you can catch so many more by using a variety of lures.
Not only do people gravitate to different types of content depending on their consumption preferences, they tend to seek out certain content types depending on where they are in the buying cycle. The key is to present your information via numerous means, including articles, blog posts, eBooks, emails, FAQs, infographics, podcasts, reference guides, video demos, webinars, white papers, and workbooks, to name a few. And to catch the attention of the most people possible, you need to take advantage of many content mediums.
Ensure that content is easily found
Third, you must ensure that your content can be easily found. You want prospects to find you when they are conducting their searches; that is, when they are in active research and buying mode. Below are a few of the most successful methods to make that happen.
- SEO (search engine optimization): SEO makes ensures that people can find your content. The more effective you are at using the same language a prospect would use when conducting a search, the more likely you are to rank high in the search engine results.
- PPC (pay per click): PPC ads are contextual ads you pay to display on search engine results pages. Again, these incorporate the words or phrases being used by your prospects. But with PPC ads, you can essentially guarantee your visibility on the search engines.
- Social advertising: Advertising with social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube allows you to target ads based on profile information that is provided by prospects themselves. This means your ad is guaranteed to be relevant.
- Content syndication: You can pay industry or news sites to host your content so that it will be seen by subscribers or visitors that are interested in a specific topic.
- Remarketing: This is the process of reinvigorating leads that are already known, i.e., those in your database. By recycling these leads and sending new messages featuring highly personalized and segmented offers, you increase the likelihood of response.
- Easy-to-navigate resource center: A resource center aggregates content and links for site visitors. By making this easy to navigate, you can help prospects and customers find the information they need on topics that matter to them.
Personalize content across multiple dimensions
Finally in order create content that stands out, promote content using segmentation, personalization, and customization. It’s critical that you make your content relevant to each and every recipient, or your message will reach many but entice few, if any. This is not about changing the content itself; it is about the messages promoting your content. If these promotional messages are not relevant, your potential reader may never dive into your thought leadership. To promote content relevant to recipients, you need to know something about each of them; only then can you target effectively. Once you know something about your targets’ preferences and interests, demographics, and location, for example, it’s much easier to ensure you are delivering the right content.