Standing out from the crowd used to be easy. Whether it was through attitude, opinion, or appearance, breaking the mould took minimal effort. The internet, however, has changed the landscape and made the world a much smaller place, bringing together those with similarities and all but eradicating individualism. And when it comes to getting noticed online, being individual is altogether harder.
Nowhere is this problem more prevalent than in the world of content marketing. Generating content is quick and easy, and almost anyone can do it. As such, there’s an unprecedented amount of competition with which you have to battle in order to be noticed. But there is some good news. While creation of content is easy, creation of good content (of the type that gets you noticed), is far harder. But the rewards make all the hard work worthwhile.
What can you do to ensure your content stands out from the crowd? How can you generate the quality that your competitors may be lacking? We’ve complied five points that should be heeded with every piece of content you create. Follow these rules and you’ll have the foundations for creating content that truly appeals.
Identify your personality
Trying to consolidate the facets of an organisation into an entity with a single voice isn’t easy, but it’s one that can make the difference between converting a potential sale and losing that customer for life. It will come as no surprise to learn that many companies approach content marketing with the wrong mentality, focussing on conversion and sacrificing engagement. These two disciplines run hand-in-hand, so ensuring your voice connects with your customers is of foremost importance.
Keep your copy consistent
It’s all too common for website copy to suffer from inconsistency and, in the same way a lack of identity can prove detrimental to conversions, compromise the trust potential customers have in your brand. While small typos can often be excused as human, a constant shift in the tone of voice is disconcerting for users, making a website seem ‘cobbled together’ by a number of disparate sources as opposed to being put together as one considered piece of work. Familiarity breeds trust, and trust leads to increased sales, enhanced reputation, and greater success.
Focus on ‘you’
Any advertising executive will tell you that the most important word in a campaign is ‘you’. The messages you’re sending should connect directly with the reader, making them feel special and resolving any problems they have. To achieve this aim, it’s important to eradicate hubris from your copy. As tempting as it may be to commend the attributes of your own organisation, you need to remember that they are only important to those working there. Potential customers want to know how they can benefit from a product or service, not get bogged down with information on how many awards you’ve won, the last detail of your company history, etc. Keep attention on the reader and you’ll see your content perform better.
Check you content has quality
The internet is far and away the great source of information available to us all. Where else can you switch from following cake-making recipes to the reading about the history of ancient Rome in mere seconds? But it has its downsides too. There is a lot of poor quality content out there, much of it regurgitated from elsewhere and which deteriorates in the process. You need to ensure, therefore, that the content you’re producing adds value to a customer’s online experience. Solve a problem, address an issue, prompt a response. Whatever you’re looking to achieve, quality content that is original and informative is essential.
Spend time crafting headlines
Even the greatest writers in history have struggled with creating the perfect headline. It can be easy to simply jot down a few words that summarise the article you’ve created, but it is impossible to stress the importance a headline plays. After all, wasn’t it the headline to this article that made you read? In the words of David Ogilvy: "On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar."