A piece of content for marketing is critically not exactly a promotion; instead it’s a solution.
For a long time, content marketing has been used as a source of marketing, marketing, and marketing itself. The Content Marketing Institute says
“Content marketing is a strategic approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly- defined audience- and ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The definition of content marketing highlights the points like “valuable”, “relevant”, “consistent”, and “profitable customer action”.
- Valuable– It means the content should be informative for the audience.
- Relevant – It has a close relation with the valuable as a content which is relevant is, of course, valuable.
- Consistent– Being consistent means to provide the regular updates with comprehension and facts.
- Profitable customer action– It implies the positive after effects of the contents when they pass the first three points and encourage the reader to take the desired action.
Now, if we closely look at the content marketing strategies being followed by some professionals these days, we will find that-
Relevance is the thing that is suffering an exile from some of these contents. Of course, it is valuable, but for whom? The presence of contents across the internet; is not just for building a link or for improving your website traffic? If driving the traffic to your website is the only motive, then I can say that information in your content might be a biased one. The desirable actions in the definition of content marketing are something that is seen as an after effect of your content. A content written solely for self promotion might not hold relevance to the reader and possibility of him/her bouncing off is very high. Remember, high bounce rate from the site pages hurt your SEO and thus, your content marketing.
Making content informative is not a tough task to do. You just have to review your content for certain points that are mentioned here:
Stick to information, not a shameless self promotion
- Question yourself– The Internet is full of crap that claims to provide a solution through the promising titles and when we look into the actual content, it is just pure promotion; no sign of a solution or information. It is not that I am in complete opposition to self-promotion, but ask yourself, does it provide a solution or information at all to the end user? If you cannot find an answer, throw it and start from the beginning itself.
For example, if I search on Google “How to write an informative content?” It returns 80,40,000 results. I might open any one of the contents from the results to read it in the hope to find the ways of making my content informative. If I find the content just promotes a software from inception to end saying “use our software to write your content”. Am I really going to find a solution in this content? So, just ask the question to yourself as an end user; “Is my content providing any solution to readers?”.
- Verifiable Information and not just claims– As a content writer, one cannot just write anything. You need to prove to your audience that the information is authentic and is definitely a solution. This can be done by citing the references for the information provided. Websites like Wikipedia rank among the top websites on the internet and the information provided on Wikipedia are trusted by the readers across the globe. It is not because Wikipedia is informative but because it provides the reference for each and every information cited on its pages.
So, building a trust would not only make your content informative but also reliable. This trust can only be developed by providing authentic information and relevant citation of references.
- Justify the relevancy of your promoted product in the solution part– Promotion is the main motive for writing any digital marketing content. We cannot isolate promotion from the digital contents these days. And I think, there is absolutely no need to isolate them at all. If your product can really provide a solution to the readers and if it’s so important to mention your product then it is actually a good thing. However, if your product is not at all related to the solution or question of the content, then it’s better to stay quiet. It’s a simple philosophy of content writing for digital media; it’s better not to write anything if you don’t have anything useful to write. Don’t provide a false or irrelevant information with the sole purpose to promote your product or service only.
Headlines that appeal
- It’s your headline that appeals– Headlines of your content are like an iconic tower in the city which gets first attention by the viewers from the far away location. The headline is the part which is sited even in the SERPs. For headlines, there are two major aspects which need to be taken care of.
First is how your headline appeals the readers initially to open the content. The second is when your headline might not appeal much, but the content is informative and definitely provides a solution.
When we consider the first case, it might face a bounce back at the very beginning of the session itself. A similar kind of disguise can be observed with your content in the second case when the content is informative for sure but the headline fails to appeal the readers.
So, it is not just the quality of a content that decides its fate, but the headlines too play a greater role as a final appeal for your readers to take required action.
- Find supportive alternatives to express your content in a better way– Images and videos are two important part of digital marketing nowadays. A content which cannot be interpreted or supported by an image is not so engaging. Similarly, sharing a relevant video that complements your content can engage your readers and can help in building loyal readers. A content is always explained better through the help of an image or a multimedia content. This is the reason why infographic has become a critical part of digital marketing nowadays. However, a point to be noted is that like keyword stuffing in search engine optimization, irrelevant images and videos are also not good for the health of your content. An image or a video which adds value to your content is good for both the conversion optimization and SEO point of view.
To conclude, it can only be suggested to make your content a perfect blend of information, solution, and ultimately put the promotion. The promotion should be so fit to the content that it takes the form of a solution to the end user rather than just being a lame piece of pointless advice.