There’s a lot of information out there. I mean, a LOT. Since Content Marketing became the hot, new marketing buzzword, everyone’s hitching up to the rollicking bandwagon, putting out blogs, video, listicles, eBooks, slideshows, etc. It’s great to see that a lot of companies are recognizing the value of content, but, with the influx of content being released into the wild blue Web, we quickly realize that not all of the content being put out is actually valuable.
The Harsh Truth: You’re Just Not That Special
One major point to recognize is that, even when your company has an engaged audience, that audience may not instantly find value in what you have to say online. Not only that, but, the more “wasteful” content you put out into the universe that doesn’t completely encompass your brand identity and thought leadership will diminish audience trust in the very foundations on which you’ve built your brand. Online brand identity and reputation is a very shaky foundation to begin with, so why test its strength by diluting it?
Building A Valuable Strategy
What is valuable content? There are a few questions to ask yourself when building a content strategy.
1) What is my audience and where will they be accessing my content?
Figuring out the audience will determine the right voice and information for your audience. Figuring out how that audience will be accessing the content can help refine the tone and develop lead generation opportunities.
2) What brand values does this content address?
Everything you put out there either bolsters or takes away from your brand value and identity. Therefore, everything you produce should ladder up to your mission and value proposition, no matter how small.
3) Does this content add something new to the online conversation, and, is it useful?
There are millions of voices out there on the Internet, so it’s important to stand out. Look at competitor thought leadership and try to determine how your brand’s point of view differs on a topic. Be provocative, but, most importantly, be helpful (and, to be helpful, you need to refer to Questions #1 and #2 first).
4) How does it measure up?
Utilize analytics to their fullest potential. Measure performance over the short and long-term. Aim to produce content that has a longer “shelf life” in order to get the most ROI.
Strategically building content so that it is useful and worthy of your audience requires taking a step back and answering these types of questions. Not everything you put out there will be a crown jewel for the ages, but, by starting with a foundational strategy, you can avoid adding to the ever-expanding Internet landfill.