James Keady, Digital Marketing Manager for McLaren Automotive couldn’t have put it better in a post in eConsultancy.
Content marketing is reaching a point where having a digital presence is no longer good enough to achieve cut through, you need a value add proposition and this is best done through a strong content strategy that reaches your audience on the right platforms at the right time in an engaging way.
How Does this Impact You?
There are many posts on this blog talking about content marketing. Your customers are content hungry. They don’t want fast food they want top class information on your products, offering, services and business. Just having a nice website that you paid someone to design a few years ago isn’t enough. Many small business have hundreds of useful pages that attract excellent visitor numbers daily due to the content and good Internet marketing. Your may only have 4-5 pages. Guess who will do better online?
If you aren’t providing this then you are going to lose out as your competition is working hard to provide it to them and are generating excellent content every day that they are reading.
Premium Editorial on Content
If you want to deliver this to clients you need a strong editorial policy on your content. You may look askance at the word editorial policy but even for a small business taking time to create something worthwhile will have a pay off.
Think of when you were in school writing an essay for one person (the teacher) you spent a few hours writing a two page essay and even longer making sure of speling and wording.
You put this effort into delivering content for one person. How much effort should you put in for a wider audience? I would suggest a lot more.
How to Edit Your Content
When I write posts I usually write, rewrite scratch out, check wording, print, read aloud and overall 100% make sure that it makes complete sense. Only then do I publish. Seems like overkill? If you want to reach a wide discerning audience this is essential.
You actually can’t beat the editorial red pen either. When you print off your page of content sit down and look at it and doodle, scratch you will make it better. Believe me you will spot many items looking at it on the screen hide.
Why do it? Because we all make mistakes in the first drafts. Yes everyone.
Links Work – Use Them
Up the ante with the amount of other links that people can refer to. Not just linking to posts here on the site but to the many other sources of information that are out there. Try and give at least 3-4 useful external links now on all my posts so people can get other perspectives. For instance here are some tips from Copyblogger on how to write compelling copy
Why do this? Don’t be an island self promoting your own content all the time. It also shows that you have pout some thought and research into this topic.
This adds additional research time to my content creation but gives a richer set of references to the reader.
Visuals on Your Content Work
A poor visual can hide average or even in some cases repurposed content. However clever repurposing can work. Many of the leading content aggregators like Mashable and Techcrunch create news and content multiple times per day and get enormous traffic. The content that they are aggregating doesn’t get a fraction of that but because of their online power they are seen as the originator (although they do not in any way claim to do so).
Take a look at this recent post which is basically an aggregation of two articles on bookless libraries. The (possibly) bring better editorial control to it and add an image from Flickr to put the subject in contect.
Good images, video and diagrams make all the difference. In essence the formula is simple and should be repeated regularly.
Good Content + Clear Visuals + Clear Message = Happy Customers
Practice Makes Better
No practice doesn’t make perfect but if you keep at use simple editing principles. You will over time become better at writing content.