Content is not King
Let's change this catch-all marketing jargon into 'good marketing is king'.
AUTHOR: Louise Donadieu
Founder & Director - Growth and automation specialist
I hear the phrase 'content is king' on a daily basis, and whilst I applaud its sentiment, it drives me mad. It guides people down a path of thinking "as long as I am putting something out there, then I'm doing the right thing". This could not be further from the truth.
I wish I could change this catch all marketing jargon into 'GOOD content is king (if published in the right way, at the right time, in the right places)'. Now that is a statement I can get behind.
It's really easy to fall into a trap of creating content on a daily, weekly or fortnightly basis because you feel like you have to, and then producing something that doesn't have a purpose. Whilst you might think that this is a relatively harmless activity, it can actually damage your brand and make you seem irrelevant with a lack of expertise to your target audience.
Those newsletters that you put a lot of time in to sending out to your entire database every month might get skipped over completely if they are not valuable because the receiver has learnt that there is never anything they want to read in it...so guess what? They never even open your emails. What a waste of everyone's time and effort.
According to MarketingProfs, more than 2 million articles and blog posts are published every day. If you are posting once a week, you are competing against 14 million other articles. Now you know that, what makes you think that people are going to stop and read your content? I'm a prime example, this is only my second article in 2 months because I didn't feel I had anything of value to push out to my audience until now. So, I didn't.
Just because everyone is talking about it, doesn't mean you have to
My number one rule is not to talk about something unless you know you are adding value to the subject matter. COVID-19, the over talked about subject right now. How many articles have you seen 'how to evolve in the current situation', 'what to expect in life after COVID-19'. How many have you actually clicked on?
As marketers, we've all been there, your boss or someone in your business is adamant that you have to produce an article on this hot topic that everyone is talking about or "we have to send out our newsletter so write 5 articles this week". Don't want to miss out on this opportunity, right? But unless you can add value to the subject by either offering a different point of view, telling people something they don't already know or offering some new guidance, then you really shouldn't be writing about it. No one will read it.
You're better off waiting until you have something that you really want to say. Now, the odd social media post that isn't the meaningful is fine, but when it comes to core content (web copy, articles, blogs, videos etc.), this is a rule you should live by.
Who are you talking to?
I cannot stress this enough - always have an audience in mind. There is very rarely a piece of content that will cater to the interests of everyone you are targeting. If you think it does, then you're not writing content correctly.
Pick your audience and write your content entirely around them. Think about what they would want to know, why they need to hear it from you and what you want them to take away from it.
Once you've got your article, you need to think about how you are going to get it in front of your target audience. It's not as easy as you'd think and never assume they'll just find it. Always have a strategy for promoting your content.
Side note: Don't assume that your target audience are following you on your social media platforms (because they probably aren't). Think about how and where you are going to get your content in front of them.
What's in it for me?
Before you start writing, always think about what you want people to take away from it. Now, this doesn't always have to be a huge breakthrough of news, it can be as simple as you want them to have a bit of comic relief for 5 minutes or tell them about someone joining your team, but make sure that you stick to your guns when creating content and always remember what you want your audience to get out of it at the end.
For example, if you are announcing a new senior hire, don't just put in a quote from the CEO saying how thrilled they are to have them join. Why is it great that this person has joined? What do they bring to the table? What value do they bring to your clients/customers? Why should they care that this person has joined? Get as much out of it as possible and then really shout about it to the audience you think will care and communicate it to them in different ways.
People only read content that they feel is going to be valuable to them, so always think about that and look at your content with the viewpoint of 'would I stop and read this?'.
Remember - Quality over Quantity
If you take away just one thing from this article, please, let it be that you are better off producing one amazing piece of content a month than 4 rubbish ones. I don't think I can say much more on that point really.
For more information on how we can help build your content strategy, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org