If ‘Content is King’…what makes good content?

‘Content is King’ is now one of the most commonly used phrases in the world of digital marketing.

Anyone marketing almost any product, service or experience says it over and over again – but do they really know what it means? And, more importantly, do they actually know what makes good content, rather than content produced just for the sake of it.

There is widespread recognition that content in all its forms across all social media platforms and digital marketing channels is now essential, not just optional, for maintaining brand awareness and recognition. It enhances brand integrity and customer connections and can generate all important cut-through in an increasingly crowded digital landscape.

While everyone knows they need to generate content, do they really understand what constitutes good content?

The point that many businesses and marketers seem to miss is that content alone is not enough. Content produced solely for the sake of having content is never going to do the job. Too many people just go through the motions paying lip service to the ‘Content is King’ mantra and put anything out there in the name of content in the hope that it connects.

This approach is always going to miss the mark. The starting point in any content marketing strategy should be the recognition that not all content is created equal.

In a world where everyone is a publisher, the founding principles of quality writing still apply and form the foundations for creating compelling and engaging content that stands out from the crowd.

In short, there is ‘content’ and then there is ‘good content’ and it is the second that should always be the focus and goal of any content marketing plan.

In fact, lazy and unprofessional content put together just for the sake of it can run the risk of causing more harm than good to your brand reputation.

Here are some quick tips to ensure the key principles of quality writing are at the forefront of creating and maintaining good content for your brand:

  1. Spelling and grammar – it always amazes us how much poorly produced content makes its way into the public domain via social media and digital marketing. Attention to detail to ensure correct spelling and grammar is the absolute starting point for good content.
  2. A catchy headline – this guiding principle of journalism and news reporting also applies to content marketing. The headline, or subject heading, of your content is your biggest opportunity to grab the attention of your target audience, so don’t waste it.
  3. Length and presentation – make sure your content is not too long. No one has time to read overly long articles or posts. They are also put off by big blocks of text that are not separated in paragraphs. So keep your content concise, easily accessible and well presented.
  4. Inform and entertain – content must be newsworthy, that is something that people don’t already know. Don’t just rehash old stuff that everyone already knows about your business. Give them something fresh and new that will inform and entertain.
  5. Don’t sell – don’t go for the hard sell. Content marketing is not advertising and overtly selling will just put people off. Use the guiding principle of newsworthiness to inform and entertain, deliver value to your readers and stand-out from the spruikers.
  6. Be consistent – a one-off piece of content is of little value. You must maintain a constant pattern of content publishing in order to build strong ongoing connections with your target audience. This can be achieved through a detailed content schedule and calendar.

These are just a few of the simple tips that can greatly enhance the quality of any form of content.

It is always worth remembering that there is much more that goes into good content creation than first meets the eye. It requires detailed planning, expert writing and editing skills, professional advice and systems management to make an impact, drive enquiry and sales and ensure your content really is king.

By Bev Strickland