It’s better to do no content than bad content
Is nobody reading your content? The most likely reason is that you are not following the “good content guide”. To succeed in publishing brands need to think like publishers. That means content has to be useful and valuable. And by that we don’t mean valuable to your board directors, but to your audience. Here are our 10 rules for creating “good content”. Any piece of content that doesn’t at least tick 3 of these boxes is simply not worth publishing. It’s better to do no content than bad content.
Being cute is nice and entertaining, but being valuable is the first step to building a trusted relationship. Yes, people click on cat pictures, but they won’t remember who you are. However, if you solve a problem or answer a question you will attract lasting attention.
If your content is useful it will be important to your customer. If it’s important, it will reinforce the value of your brand without any annoying side effect.
You want to hit your reader when they are in reading mode, ie. when they are ready to give your content attention. Being contextual and relevant increases the probability of getting your voice heard. Think about native advertising, sponsored posts and think about personalisation.
Don’t make it difficult for your reader. Always remove the barriers and think about the right format, length etc. We are living in the age of information overload, so make sure you get your message through in the first 20 seconds. If you can’t do that your content will be wasted on the majority of your audience.
Image led content increases your chance of success by 98%, so think about how attractive your content looks as well as how useful it is. Invest in quality photos, graphics and video. This is the shop window for your brand. Let everybody know that your brand doesn’t compromise on quality.
It sounds ridiculous that we are still going on about this, but many brands still fail to acknowledge that most people now consume content on mobile. Of course this depends on your audience and the time of the week or day, but the fact is that you are losing readers if your content isn’t device agnostic.
What does this mean? Not sure this is a proper word, but what we’re trying to say is that your content needs to encourage people to share with their friends and followers. Shareable content has at least one of the following characteristics: 1. it has human appeal 2. it offers unique insight 3. it tells an emotional story that people can empathise with 4. it is thought provoking as well as funny.
This should really be the first tick-box on your list, but because it’s a bit obvious we put it further down. Content that can’t be found won’t be read. Make sure you invest in amplification tactics, such as SEO, email, native advertising, sponsored content campaigns, influencer outreach, social seeding. Getting to your audience is hard work, but it’s worth it.
Your readers don’t tolerate intrusiveness. They will switch you off. Make sure that you reign in any over-zealous inbound marketers or conversion specialists. Yes, you need call to action, but content marketing stops being useful when you spam your audience with pop-ups and relentless emails.
At Kontenthaus this is the box every piece of content has to tick. Ask yourself: am I re-inforcing or establishing my brand as a trustable brand with this content? Will readers think that I have genuinely thought about their problems or needs? Keep your promise. Too many times people hand over their personal details for a white paper or “playbook” in return for stating-the-obvious drool. They will never trust you again, so you’re better of not spending any money on that no-frills white paper – save up until you can afford a really amazing one.
One last word, though:
Don’t be a “good content” extremist
What I mean by that is that brands still need to get their sales messages out. It’s about hitting the right balance between editorial and marketing. A content marketing programme that doesn’t get the audience to interact with the brand isn’t very clever at all.