Got lonely content and don’t know what to do? Help is at hand. Read on!
Ten Rules for Content Brands in Search of Crowds
Rule #1 -blog with the best content you can produce, don’t waste time or resources on social media until your business has 39-50 blog posts completed.
Try irregularity with images: juxtaposed with your content, irreverent or irresistible.
Your “readers” are on smartphones: attention span distracted and possibly distraught. You have about ten seconds to garner a visitor’s attention with your content and images.
Rule #2 - Brake Boredom’s hold on your brand. Great content comes down to structure, story and presentation.
Rule #3 - Jettison jargon when/where you find it. You know the stuff that makes your viewers’ turn away and embrace the dark force, otherwise known as the click of death in marketing jargon speak.
God knows we marketers struggle with this problem. You are not alone!
Tips for jargon free content & related bon motes
- Read everything David Ogilvy ever wrote.
- Be plainspoken: Will Rogers knew what he was talking about.
- Write different: well we stole this phrase. But, all marketing is “creative plagiarism.”
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes when you write.
- Tell a story when/where you can. That’s easier said than done. Learn how GoPro tells a great story and builds brand.
- As you write, have a real person in mind.
- Behind every good writer is a stellar editor. Be one!!
- Try not to turn every blog post into a commercial for your brand.
Rule #4 - leave your local brand accent at home: write for a global audience. It’s the web right?
- If you’re a pizza shop in Brooklyn then go ahead and butcher the English language as you see fit. If not, see header above. (We love Brooklyn too and we don’t mean “Decker.”)
- Write for a global audience; it’s not “miles” its kilometers BTW.
- You may want to leave the metaphors at home or better yet, that’s what a personal Twitter account is for.
- Don’t write in geekease - geeks think they rule the world but they don’t, consumers do. Write accordingly.
Rule #5 - write with your ears
- Social is really an endless feedback loop. See: Twiter. Be a content whisperer and pay attention to what’s being said about your content.
- Every blog should have comments working and someone should be paying attention to them.
- Ask and you shall receive. Throw up a blog or Tweet and ask others what they want to hear.
- Great content is still about conversation. Build one around your brand.
- #BTW Twitter lists put your “ears” on steroids. Use them.
Rule #6 - be a mythic brand: serve customers, tell a good story and be passionate
- Ralph Lauren isn’t selling clothes and BMW aren’t selling cars. Admittedly, if your small biz selling linen supplies online you aren’t going to be another Ralph Lauren. But, look for ways to be mythic with your customers.
- Breaking Bad wasn’t a story it was a human car wreck in slow motion over multiple seasons.
- The world cup wasn’t about football - it was a modern tale about risk and reward.
- Apple rose from the ashes of failure by making great products with a good story, told by a master storyteller.
Rule #7 - be credible with your words when/if you can! Your writing has to stand on its own without endless facts and figures.
- Some times boring facts and figures are just that: boring. Don’t fall in love with data.
- Credibility in spite of what marketers tell you is built up over times in many cases. See: NY Times or Der Spiegel.
- Content flow helps to drive the reader onto the page.
Rule #8 - give em the good with the bad. We all get sick of content with no grounding in reality whatsoever: “How I Made a Billion Working Ten Minutes a Day”
Credible content, especially when targeting other businesses converts well when the on page content makes it clear you may not have all the answers.
“We turn clients into mythic brands; but along the way you can expect some bumps and bruises.” Makes for compelling content that draws the visitor in.
Medium (founded by Biz Stone) has made a name for itself as a publisher rapidly in a market crowed with many other publishing platforms. The content is open, truthful, honest and with a minimal number of images.
The minimalist design complements the content.
Rule #8 - we are moving into a 2+2 world for smart content marketing.
Readers want to know how your products and services work and add value to their business.
Decisions are fraught with anxiety for many other biz execs who are weighing whether or not to use your services. So, tell them how you can help in measurable ways.
This is a Sales Force landing page below. Note the embedded facts and figures give you a sense for how they help businesses generate revenue using their products.
The content is lean and mean with a 2+2 component.
Rule #9 - embed calls to action in every piece of content that you write and share.
- Many conversion experts like Neil Patel think embedding calls to action “above the fold” is a myth & these should be embedded in the copy after the visitor has read it!
- Use different colors for your Calls to Action vs. the Page’s background color.
- Use bold contrasting colors.
- Use actionable copy conveying the value of the offer being made.
- Don’t oversell and under perform (“make billions working ten minutes a day”).
- Set expectations properly: “get our 30 page ebook on cooking skills with 20 recipes.”
- Embed calls to action (“CTAs”) in every piece of content you create: web, newsletter, social media and even your contact and “thank you” pages.
Rule #10 - there are no hard and fast rules to ensure success with your content. Share content, measure engagement and modify based on what content resonates with your visitors.
But, integrate these rules of the road and you’ll have a good foundation.
- Make your content relevant to your market niche.
- Add value by addressing questions your potential customers want to hear about.
- Don’t shout “buy, buy, buy” endlessly - there is a customer journey implicit with all good content for B2B brands.
- Embed some data; but, don’t go overboard.
- Make sure your content is aligned with your business objectives and ongoing marketing objectives
In our work with clients just creating content is only part of the equation. Promote your content (and brand) with paid ads, guest posts, comments and once you’ve published content like a blog, push it out to other targeted platforms.
Great content is a mythic beast.
It “lives” within each of you and the DNA of your company. Just remember, great content requires creativity and lots of trial and error, coupled with “listening” to your conversion metrics (newsletter sign ups, lead inquiries and/or revenue metrics).
Adjust accordingly and look for patterns of engagement across all your content marketing initiatives.
Reach out if you have questions and sign up for our newsletter; you’ll get a 50+ page digital strategy overview ebook covering content, social media marketing, cloud integration and more.