Stop creating content, start creating value

For businesses getting started with content marketing, it’s easy to get carried away with the idea of creating masses of varied content – in the hope that it will mystically help to market their products. So many blogs, articles and books about content marketing focus on maximising the volume of content you’re producing, spreading it across lots of different channels and carefully planning publishing schedules. The idea “if you publish it, they will come” is what gets many businesses into content marketing in the first place. But, like everything else worth doing, it isn’t easy. Before you can even think about volume, channel or publishing patterns, you really need to get back to basics and think about the most important thing of all: value.

Needless to say, the real impact with content marketing comes in the value of the message; the purpose and utility of the content. How is your content going to help, entertain or interest the target audience?

Five key things to think about when maximising the impact of your content

  1. Focus on worth

At the heart of your content is the value that lives within it. What is it actually worth to your target audience? What is the main reason the content will be useful, interesting or entertaining? If you aren’t certain the content is going to be valued by the people you eventually want to sell to, or the influencers of the people you want to sell to, the chances are it isn’t valuable. In such cases, you aren’t marketing – you’re spitting out used bubblegum.

  1. Quickly demonstrate purpose

It’s crucial that you show the purpose of your content early on. If it’s a video, let your audience know what they will get out of it in the first few seconds; if it’s an infographic, clearly highlight the key purpose; if it’s a blog, be upfront about what the point is. You get the idea. Think about how it’s going to help, improve or enrich the audiences’ lives and express this early on.

  1. Don’t dilute

Don’t fall victim to the idea of watering down each piece of content in order to spread it out over more channels and separate posts. Think logically about what the audience needs to get out of this single interaction with your content. What do they need to walk away with that will have helped or satisfied them in some way? What happens when you dilute something too much? It becomes weak.

  1. Get attention

You know those sounds that are constantly in the background. The hum of the air conditioning or the buzz of the refrigerator – you stop noticing them because they’re constantly droning on in the background. You don’t want to be a background hum – you want to be noticed – make sure every noise you make is worth listening to.

  1. Give more

If you think you’re giving away too much for free, it’s probably a good sign that you’re doing content marketing well. Nothing in life is free, you know that. Your audience may not be paying for your content with money, but they are paying you with time and attention. Reward them by giving more value than they expect.

Remember, value is everything – if you can’t see the real value to the customer – don’t publish the content. Great content inspires action.

by Dane Brookes
Director at Group Dane and Author of Content Marketing Revolution.

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