With many brands now using content marketing, it got me thinking what exactly makes good content? There is so much around and clutter how does a brand stand out from the rest. Columnist Pratik Dholakiya acknowledges that there are 5 elements that make for good content marketing:
- Personalisation: Creating content that is personal or individual to the consumer can provide an emotional connection, which can increase engagement. From a research by Econsultancy it has been shown that only 19% of marketers are utilizing this characteristic. Not only that but personalization not only increases conversions, improves customer retention and provides use for consumers (Davies, A. August 2013).
- Provide value back to the consumer: Dholakiya goes on to mention that content marketers need to provide value back to the consumer. Whether its information, education or providing a solution potential customers need to be engaged with content that will be useful to them and that provides value into their lives.
- Be innovative: Being able to come up with new and exciting ways to connect with your audience will help marketers to stand out from rest. It is said “that brands that are able to be innovative and creative in their content marketing will have a higher probability of success with their campaigns” –Jeff Zelaya. Marketing Professor, Anne Handley comments that the best content has elements of all three: or said more simply: Useful x Inspiraton x Empathy = Innovative Content. Take for example McDonald Canada’s Answers All Food Questions campaign. It had the 3 basic elements that Professor Handley mentioned. The campaign invited Canadians to ask whatever question about Mc Donalds food via twitter or Facebook direct to their website. It resulted in more than 16,000 questions and allowed Mc Donalds to be transparent and honest with its consumers through an innovative and simple campaign.
- Story telling: All great stories captivate audiences and pull at the emotions, which allows people to trust more and be easily persuaded. Author and entrepreneur Seth Godin’s rides on the principle of the better stories you tell the better the connection with your audience, the better the connection the stronger the relationship.
- Quality over quantity: Less is more, and this is true in content marketing. In a blog written by Erik Schmidt the common mistake marketers make is thinking that “jamming in as much content in hopes that something will resonate with someone”. The problem with this is that creating all this content doesn’t necessarily mean more ‘likes’ or ‘tweets’. It also doesn’t give a business an indication of its outcomes nor does it mean that consumers want more content. If anything consumers want better content that gets them highly engaged and is contextually placed in the right environment. You don’t have to be constantly creating and pushing out content, if the content is great then it can be re-purposed and shared around.
By utilizing any one of the 5 elements, you are on your way to creating good content that hopefully will engage your audience and evoke the emotions needed to take action.