Have you ever seen someone from afar and thought to yourself, “They have to be one interesting individual.” Normally it’s something about their appearance that helps you come to this predetermined opinion of them. Maybe they’re rocking a spot-on intellectual hipster look or the way they carry themselves just exudes confidence. Either way, they’ve got that “it” factor. Then you sit down to engage in that intellectual conversation that you know is just going to rock your world only to find that the entire fantasy comes to an immediate halt the moment they open their mouth. You’ve been duped.
This same scenario is one we run into regularly as we browse through the digital world’s latest and greatest content marketing pieces. At first glance, we’re intrigued. The writers are either extremely witty or spent an excessive amount of time on their headlines because they piqued our interest like no other. However, halfway through the first paragraph we realize we’ve stumbled across another hot-mess of a blog post. It had potential, but they missed the mark. The answers we were hoping to find weren’t there and their ability to keep us intrigued wore off before we were halfway through. And if you’re the content producer for your company, what I just described is your worst nightmare. The question is, how do you avoid becoming just another failed attempt?
Strong headlines and attractive photos aren’t enough; your content has to be just as riveting. If you think you’re going to come in and redefine your industry, your goals may be lofty to say the least. However, you certainly have the power to impact it. You’ve probably heard the saying “there are no such things as original ideas anymore.” For argument’s sake, this statement holds true. But that doesn’t mean your take on a similar idea can’t create an audience. As a society we are purveyors of knowledge, constantly looking for new opinions and solutions for the same age-old problems that have been around forever. This is your time to sit down and blow visitors away with your knowledge and wit, don’t blow it by posting content just for the purpose of posting it.
All of your posts should be structured in a way that is easy to understand. As much as you hate bullet points, your readers will enjoy how easy they make it to find your key points. Use the basics of what you know about writing to ensure your piece flows – the quickest way to lose a reader is to jump around from topic to topic. Finally, give them those answers that they are looking for. They ended up on your blog or website because they believed you knew something that they didn’t, so don’t play coy now.
Like most things of substance and value, content marketing shouldn’t be attempted with half-hearted efforts. If you’re going to invest time in doing it, get it right. After all, the last thing you want to become known as is that business that “had great potential” but just couldn’t hit the mark.