What Exactly is Good Content Marketing?

As a business manager, you have probably come across the same content marketing tips repeatedly. While some of these slivers of advice are helpful, others are so vague that they are a waste of everybody’s time. One tip that tends to pop up fairly often is to make sure to produce quality content. The phrasing may change slightly from article to article, but the message is generally the same. CM_Underline

While it is certainly important to understand that slapping any old thing together is not a viable content market strategy, it also begs the question: what is good content? Explaining that creating engaging or interesting content is crucial is about as helpful as telling a high school the best way to do well on the SAT is to answer every question correctly. How exactly would you put that plan into action?

A few common threads, however, do seem to weave through most successful content marketing. If your ultimate destination is an effective campaign, here are a few stops you might want to hit along the way:

Show Some Passion!

Supporting facts and figures are great, and they are certainly a requirement of good content marketing. But every piece you publish should start from the premise that you have something exciting to convey and absolutely cannot wait to tell readers about it. After all, if you don’t care, why would anybody else?

It’s Not All About You

It might seem counterintuitive, but your content marketing should not be a steady stream of promotional stories. No matter how great your product or service is, people simply do not want to read about it over and over again. They do, however, enjoy reading about industry trends and how new products can help enhance their day-to-day lives. Your content marketing should make clear why what you do is important, without shoving in the reader’s face.

Know Your Audience

Content adds value by filling in gaps or providing solutions for readers. To hit these sweet spots, you have to understand what your target audience wants and needs. For instance, you probably don’t have to explain the concept of supply and demand to small business owners. You might do well, however, to explain how using Instagram can help improve their brand awareness.

Your Title is Vital

A lead sentence is supposed to grab the reader—but how do you ensure the reader actually gets to that point? A bold title should do the trick. Too often, titles are an afterthought, created hastily and without purpose.  You might be publishing the most interesting content known to man, but if no one is reading, what good does it do?

The recently released 2014 Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs report stated that 93 percent of business-to-business marketers use content marketing as part of their strategy. That statistic is commonly cited as evidence that content marketing has arrived, but it makes another point as well; decision-makers have more content to sift through than ever before, meaning it is critical that you are producing thoroughly excellent material.

Of course, these are not the only ways to create engaging content. Ultimately, each business must develop a strategy that works for them. Therein lies the greatest content marketing strategy of them all—stay true to yourself. Nobody knows your business better than you do, so much sure your company’s top executives have a hand in formulating whatever plan you decide to execute. Always remember that when it comes to the topic at hand, you are the expert