We’re smack bang in the midst of a content marketing revolution. With 90% of businesses turning to content marketing to cut through and engage, the need for relevancy and authenticity is bigger than Ben Hur.
Content is a big beast. It’s so much more than using a mixture of ‘5 Quick Ways To Create Click Bait’ and insincere keyword stuffing to attract leads. Content and commerce have collided and brands are now turning to content marketing as a communication and marketing must have.
With content teams popping up like cat cafes and brands fast blending into publishers, a recently published report by the Content Marketing Institute stating that only 34% of B2C marketers consider themselves effective at content marketing shows the challenges many face.
With everyman and his typewriter jumping on board the content bandwagon and the resulting mediocre mountains of content landfill, the missing link between content for content’s sake and engaging messaging is storytelling.
Authenticity is the great divider. It breeds connection and incites a genuine response. It’s not the sleazy bad tie-sporting salesman of content, it’s the trustworthy friend and the valid voice. Authentic content doesn’t undermine your intelligence or appeal to the lowest common denominator, it takes you on a journey, shares a story and doesn’t push wares in your face with the subtlety of a drunk hippo.
Whilst there’s always an agenda, a bottom line and an ROI to be measured, content is ultimately a long play. There’s no short cut to fostering loyalty and authoring your brand as a thought leader. Only building real relationships, being brave enough to push the envelope and taking the time to put yourself in the shoes of the reader will deliver real results.
Here’s three ways to write smart:
Pinpoint the purpose
In a data-oriented world, our digital efforts need to have a purpose. The specific purpose of your content should fit in with your overall content strategy and marketing objectives. Generally speaking, your content should be a balance between storytelling and being informative. Whatever the subject, it should be valuable to the reader.
Outside the box
Engaging content is the key to creating meaningful connections with your audience. The majority of content bugbears pivot around keeping topics fresh and appealing. No product or service is ever as uninspiring or boring it appears at first glace, so remember, there’s always room for creativity and irreverence so think beyond the obvious to quirky ways content can shape your brand personality. The internet has broken down the walls to traditional competition and in the online world, market share is fair game.
Harness the humanity
Content can take many forms with a myriad of different objectives but the common denominator is that people read it. Regardless of the platform or application, never forget your audience. Your brand personality and the nuances of your product or service will shape your communication, but always try to write conversationally and candidly and steer clear of the general and the cliche. Use examples and quotes from real people, with real lives and real stories.