We all hear that content is king. Why? Well, the common wisdom is that content offers a distinct SEO advantage. Content is for SEO, right? It reminds Google that your website is constantly being updated and helps with keyword capture. But what if I told you it was much more than that. That great content is a powerful reflection of who you are as a business owner or subject matter expert.
I know this is a powerful paradigm switch for many, but here are a few critical things to know and think about as you go about creating content.
Who Are You?
It’s common to talk about storytelling in marketing. In fact, it’s become a common trope that marketing is all about telling your story. That’s not entirely true, but your story will impact the content you create. Understanding it, as well as the pitfalls and treasures to be found within it, can make the difference between a great piece of content and a bad one. Here are a few things to consider.
First, your story will tell us who you are, where you came from, and why it is you do what you do. This will help us form a picture of you and your personality, making you much more than some nameless entity talking at us. The way in which this will be reflected depends on the content, whether it’s the voice of your writing or the personality you shine through on the videos you create.
Second, your story will most likely serve as a great resource for illustrating and teaching your audience. Events that happened to you, projects you completed, and other parts of that story are great items to draw from. Use this knowledge and make content people can actually connect with.
Third, remember that everyone is the hero of their own story. This is more of a cautionary note than anything. When sharing anecdotes and stories we tend to perceive ourselves as in the right and understand all of the nuances perfectly. Your audience won’t necessarily. Have someone with a critical eye review your content and get their honest impression. Let them tell you how it sounded/looked and heed the advice.
And Why Should I Read Your Piece?
Answering this question is all about understanding authority. There is a limited amount of time in a day and your content is asking people to give it time. We are infinitely more likely to take the time to look at what you’ve created if we consider you an authority in that area. Marketing, finance, mechanical work, engineering, health, productivity, or anything else should be something you know and that we can clearly identify you as an authority in.
The common problem that arises with this is that, for the sake of having a consistent presence in the social media world, you just share all of the greatest hits pieces of content. It’s a simple, time-saving solution but it also doesn’t show us who you are and what you know. Thoughtful comments, solid pieces of content, and posts illustrating your skills and knowledge will help that. However you approach this, remember we need to know why we should listen to you.
Value is In the Eye of the Beholder
One of the most consistent pieces of advice given to content creators is to create value for your prospective client/customer. But how do you determine that value? That’s a very problematic question for so many content creators. What ends up happening is that we try to decide what our audience will find valuable. The end result is the same content we hear all of the time, the safe and repetitive tips that we just scroll past.
You can avoid this problem though. The secret here is to realize your audience will determine what they found valuable. That means you need to engage them and listen to them. Maybe use the common questions they ask you as a jumping-off point for some content. Or try your hand at answering the messy questions directly that everyone else dances around. No matter what you do, make sure to get real, honest feedback on how valuable it was.
Pro tip: ask your current customers what they’ve found valuable. They’ve done business with you for a reason and are the best source of information.
(H2) Create Something Worth the Effort
Too often, content is just created for the sake of having something to share. The truth is we are all bombarded by content like that on a daily basis. We can smell it a mile away and we’re all sick of it. This kind of empty “this medium is hot right now” content doesn’t engage us or make us care. All it does is fill a perceived hole in a marketing strategy. To the rest of us, it seems empty and soulless. Just remember, whatever you create, make it something you care about, something worth the effort.
About Matt Hampton
Matt Hampton is a master storyteller, writer, and marketing strategist. He has engaged in every single form of professional and creative writing, which is part of how he is able to merge creative techniques with innovative strategies for business owners of every size and industry. Matt’s blog project, 100 Connections, quickly rose from a new project to over 60,000 readers a day, and that experience is how he helps people understand how content can move beyond a simple exercise into a strategic component of your marketing. Matt is the Marketing Director for Stingray Branding.
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