In case it isn’t obvious, the good old days of corporate Marcom are gone forever. DIY is the new model. And everything you do (and a brand does) online is now marketing.
As Andrew Nachison, Founder of We Media, says: “Institutions that once had to go through media to deliver information are now themselves media.” For most businesses, the new requirement of what’s come to be known as Content Marketing is a lot to bite off—and a bit out of most people’s comfort zones or competencies.
There are no experts in marketing anymore. As a result, you get to write the future with your customers. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts on how to become a publisher to meet today’s requirement to continually create content that your prospects and customers will find relevant or valuable.
What’s your story?
Like it or not, everybody is now a story teller. As a result, people now connect with or buy the story attached to you and your brand. So the essential question is, “Do you have a story?”
Are you giving your customers something to believe in with a deeper meaning?
If you’re not telling a story that others can identify as they’re own, it’s tough to be relevant or have an emotional connection to something.
In case you weren’t sure, it’s all about them.
In this changing environment, it’s important to remember that no one cares about you. Everyone cares about themselves. So your story better deliver benefits to those you seek to connect with, influence and possibly even take money from.
Have a personality, be passionate, and take a position. Personality matters because people matter. Safe or politically correct doesn’t resonate, get remembered or get considered by very many.
Your new job description.
Blog—As often as you can.
You need to be positioning yourself as an expert in your domain of expertise. Your blog should become your personal brand repository and the place where people find your value. Simply put, if you are not blogging, getting found online or creating a powerful and memorable brand is almost impossible.
The value of your blog’s content is cumulative. And the more you create and contribute, the more valuable your content becomes. Initially, you may not see the results you would like from the significant effort you will have to invest in content creation. But over time, your results will improve, often dramatically.
Use these training wheels to get better content.
Writing and producing a never-ending stream of content that your prospects and customers will find valuable and worth sharing with others is a challenge for anyone. To help you get started, these tips can help to improve the foundation of your content—writing.
1. | Lead with verbs, not nouns.
People respond to verbs more than nouns because verbs—by definition— mean doing something. And it’s usually something we like or want to do.
So in your written content, wherever possible, lead with verbs that involve action and that command attention.
2. | Less is more.
If you’re like most people, you don’t read.
You skim and find the content you want. And if it’s found, then you may read.
So if you’re inclined to write more, consider that reader comprehension declines with more unwanted and unneeded words.
3. | Use fewer sentences per paragraph.
Content marketing, for the most part, is supposed to be fun. So don’t make it feel like reading a college textbook.
Create blocks of text that make readers feel comfortable by using no more than 1-2 sentences per paragraph. If you structure the content to visually appear as easy to consume bites, it will not impede fast navigation to the content that people are looking for.
4. | Check the audible.
If you read your copy out loud, you get a new perspective on your writing. This simple technique allows you to hear your voice in the head of your reader.
So if something is unclear or sounds like you wouldn’t want to read it, then your copy needs some editing or additional work.
5. | Three parts of Great Content.
Great content always includes the following three elements. So review what you’ve written then consider if it meets these measures of quality:
- | Concise
- | Informative
- | Attractive
If your written content meets all of these essential criteria, you’re on the right track.
How are you doing?
Have you embraced Content Marketing and the new continual publishing paradigm? Are you getting the results you were looking for with your blog? Your comments are appreciated.
As president and creative director of TeamworksCom, Paul develops brand strategy, engineers content to express customer value and creates integrated online and content marketing solutions to help businesses succeed. Connect with Paul, send an Email, or just call 415.789.5830.