Your business’s website is vastly different from anyone else’s – or at least it should be. We’re not necessarily talking about web page design, though—it’s crucial, but that’s a discussion for another day. What it takes to make even the most state-of-the-art website stand out over time is a consistent stream of unique, high-quality content—blogs, photographs, infographics and of course videos. Today, we’re going to talk specifically about blog posts and written content, but the principles apply across formats.
Every marketer knows how difficult it can be to produce great content continuously. Sometimes you nail it on the first shot as new material flows freely, and other times you have to painfully extract each idea. While some content goes viral, brings in tons of traffic, or sparks a lively conversation among your readers, other posts fall flat. Partnering with a creative content marketing team takes the guesswork out of writing your own blog posts. It’s not a simple coincidence that some content yields killer results for your brand – there are several components that your team will nail every time they turn out something brilliant.
When comparing good content versus bad content, there are plenty of “Dos” and “Don’ts” that writers and marketers should keep at the forefront of their minds while they plan their next content marketing strategy. These are some of the key features of excellent content and how a great team can check all the boxes to make your next project a winner:
- Keep it tight – Wordy writing with flowery language and too much jargon weighs your content down, making it a burden to read. If readers have to try too hard to read your posts, they are likely to give up and leave your site to find their information or resources elsewhere. Keeping content concise, to the point, and easy to read using plain language creates an effortless experience for your readers.
- Entertain – The best content is amusing, endearing, tugs at the heart strings, or taps into human emotion in some way, either good or bad. When you stimulate a person’s emotions, they are more likely to dig deeper into your site and become motivated to share your content with others.
- Be useful – Much of the traffic that’s driven to your blog or site comes from people searching for an answer to a problem they have. They’re looking for a new accounting firm for their business, or they’re looking for a car dealership to set up a new fleet of vehicles. When they search for the information they want and end up on your site, your content had better give them the answers they’re looking for, or they’ll move on.
- Educate – When your creative marketing team uses content to teach readers something new makes them likely to pass it on to others who will also benefit from your knowledge. Whether it’s a new skill, new information on the topic they’re searching, or a new way of approaching a problem, using your content to create teachable moments makes it more memorable, solidifies your brand as an industry leader in your reader’s minds, and can reap big benefits for your brand.
- Show, not tell – Readers don’t want to be bombarded with a sales pitch when they’re reading content on your site, whether it’s in a blog post or your “about” page. People are hungry for entertainment and education, and when your marketing strategy team can capture those elements in your content, you are effectively showing them why your product or service is indispensable, rather than hitting them over the head with an aggressive or clunky-sounding pitch.
- Rush – A great content marketing team will take the extra time to edit and perfect anything that goes onto your site, which is critical to making your content more readable and easier for your readers to relate to. Posting material with errors or publishing writing that doesn’t flow well are big no-no’s for any business and undermines your reputation as an authority in your industry.
- Be a bore – Posts that are just text on a page do little to engage your readers or attract them to your business. A content marketing team can engage readers through brilliant images, infographics, or video that stimulates them across multiple channels.
- Talk for the sake of talking – A blog or site content should have a clear point, whether it’s outlining your services or discussing a current event to get readers talking. You never want to publish content that doesn’t say anything meaningful or leaves your readers asking, “so what?”
- Be fancy – Overly formal writing is hard to read and feels stuffy and dry. The best content gives readers the feeling of talking to a friend who is an expert in the subject at hand. Aim for informative but easy-going. Even the most conservative businesses can benefit from this approach that can appear professional without being unnecessarily pretentious.
Bad content happens to good businesses. No one publishes dull content intentionally, but it happens to even the savviest brands if they’re not strategic in their marketing. Great content grows from interesting ideas, whip-smart writing, careful planning, and tapping into what your readers want and need. A solid content marketing team will drive traffic to your site, keep reader’s interest piqued, and solidify your business as being an industry leader with killer content on every page, whether it’s your product descriptions or your blog posts. Awesome content marketing brings a steady stream of visitors, hooks new clients, and creates a priceless web presence that will result in great rewards for your business.
Remember Ford’s slogan, “Quality is Job #1”? Great content is your job #1. Invest in content as the foundation of your business’s online identity, and build your content marketing strategy from there.