Top characteristics of great marketing content
Why should useful content be at the core of good marketing? The simple answer is because consumers have slowly shut themselves off from what we know as “traditional” marketing. Think about it for a minute. People now own DVRs that can skip television ads, stream music without commercials, and even surf the web more efficiently to easily ignore banners and buttons. That is why smart marketers understand that you need to develop great marketing content.
What is marketing content?
In a nutshell, it is a technique of creating relevant and valuable content that you then distribute to help attract and engage your defined target audience. The objective is to drive a profitable customer action based on acquiring this audience because you understand them well enough to craft content that speaks to them.
You aren’t selling a product to a consumer, but instead you are delivering information that want which in turn develops a relationship. As you consistently provide valuable information you win loyalty and then business.
One-size does not fit all
Sadly there is not a simple formula you can use to write the perfect marketing content. The reason is because every target audience is different. That means you need to tailor content to that audience appropriately. However there are a handful of very useful characteristics that great content utilizes.
1. Speak to the target audience – Forget trying to get everyone with your message and instead focus on your target. Mismatched promotions and messages just aren’t very effective and over generalized content is just that, which means it often is not very useful. You need to pick your target, say married women age 30 to 35 who work and have kids, and then write something that directly addresses them. Speak to their concerns and problems in a voice they can understand.
2. Image is everything – Sometimes the last thing people think about is the image they associate with an article. Pictures are worth a thousand words and you should have an image with every piece of content, but what image? Stock photos are nice but what do they truly say? The benefits of graphics and relevant images are proven. Images should be meaningful to the target audience and speak to them. In some cases start with a great image and write the content around that rather than the other way around.
3. Use customer-centric examples – One big mistake people make when marketing a product is they constantly sell the product and tout features. Instead switch gears and talk about results. Provide stories of customers who have used the product and what they got out of it. Use case studies. Consider what people reading the content actually want or need and tailor the content to show how your product or service helps fill that need.
4. Open the door with formats – How do you deliver content? Is it just a basic article? Maybe you use a PDF file? Why settle for something so boring and mundane? There are so many options such as videos, interactive PDFs, animation, and more. Take the time to consider the market and utilize different formats to best showcase your content.
5. Don’t forget the CTA! – The goal of marketing is to create action. As such your content needs to push prospects the direction you want to become buyers. So what do you want them to do? Be specific about the action you want them to take in an effort to guide them along.
6. Share the content – Great content takes time and effort. After you finish it and publish it you can’t simply pat yourself on the back and move on. No, you need to make that content work for you and get the maximum amount of value. How do you do that? You need to extend your reach by using social media, repurpose it, and re-use it. The old adage is, “write once, use everywhere”.
The bottom line is that great marketing content sells products. While writing good and great pieces can take time and effort, the rewards justify the work.