Do you remember one of the captions you read on Instagram yesterday morning? What was the last article you read about?
If you can’t answer either of these questions, you’re not alone. We are surrounded by content everywhere we look. From social media posts to Google search results, how-to articles, and video.
A little over 10 million blog posts are published each day, and that’s without social media posts and news articles. With so much online content available, a simple search can be overwhelming.
And, searchers don’t want to have to sift through it all. In fact, they want to cut through this noise and have their search queries answered.
As for search engines, they want to help these users find the most relevant and accurate information.
The Right Kind of Content
For marketers, providing the right content that appeals to both searchers and search engines is a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be.
There are people out there who actively want to engage with your content, you just need to make sure they see it. With search engine algorithms connecting users to the content that best fits their query, you need to keep your audience at the forefront of your mind.
Who wants to read something dull? Or waste their time watching a video that wasn’t informative or didn’t answer your original question?
For example, imagine you’re searching YouTube for an instructional video on “how to use chopsticks correctly”.
Are you going to click on the one called “Using chopsticks correctly” or “5 things you didn’t know about using chopsticks”. The first one sounds informative but it’s very bland and matter-of-fact. It certainly doesn’t sound as entertaining as the second video. As such, it’s more likely that you’ll choose to watch the second video. Why? Because it’s informative, engaging and sounds like it will be more entertaining.
Over one billion hours of YouTube videos are watched around the world every day. Clearly, there is an audience for video. But how do you make sure people are finding your videos?
Well, your content needs to be good.
And this isn’t simply a case of writing or presenting well either.
You might have the best grammar and punctuation, or be the best public speaker in the world. But, for your content to be good, connecting with your audience is paramount. Or else, you might as well be creating it for yourself.
So how do you make your content any good?
Put simply; good quality content needs to entertain, educate, or inform.
Content Marketing: What Does It Really Do?
Content is used in a variety of ways depending on its purpose. Are you producing good content to inform people of new information, to sell a product, attract people to continue reading your articles, or to give your brand a personalised feel?
Anyone can write an article, create an Instagram post or upload a YouTube video. But if you don’t have a clear intention behind everything you create, it will be easily forgotten.
With this in mind, each piece of content produced should have a clear aim. It needs to:
1. Good content is entertaining
Entertaining content can be produced in several ways. Ultimately, it doesn’t have to be funny or witty. But high-quality content must appeal to people’s emotions and tell a story.
Whether it motivates people or it makes them laugh, or cry, it will be more memorable. This is because good content which is entertaining, allows someone to form a connection with it.
Nike is an example of a brand that appeals to people’s emotions within their content to sell products. Yes, Nike is already a well-established brand with an Instagram following of over 120 million. But they use their Instagram channel to create powerful and meaningful campaigns. This is why so many people talk about them and share their work.
Nike’s Never Too Far Down video for its ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ campaign showcases some of the sporting world’s biggest comebacks. This includes Tiger Woods, LeBron James, and Serena Williams.
This video was published in May 2020 during the height of the coronavirus pandemic. At a time when the majority of sports and sporting events had been cancelled. Along with LeBron James’s voiceover, it told a story. Most importantly, it was entertaining. It was also motivational, positive, and uplifting at a time when the world needed it.
This video and subsequent videos in the campaign, went viral on YouTube with over 117.5 million views. Everyone loves a comeback story – they entertain – people, get behind them and cheer them on. And, in doing so, feel a little inspired themselves.
Ultimately this video was produced to sell Nike products. But this aim was secondary to providing quality content that was entertaining and engaging.
2. Good content you can learn something from
Of course, content can also be educational. Many search queries on Google are from users looking to find out the answer to something specific.
Educating the reader on a specific subject or explaining something in a way that has never been done before makes content memorable.
For instance, you might read an article about how to make banana bread. You follow the recipe and it turns out well. As a result, you’re more likely to use that website or brand again for other recipes.
Recipes, along with how-to videos, how-to articles, guides, tutorials, reviews, product demos, eBooks, and infographics are educational. They teach us something new and as such, provide us with value. This type of content is shareable.
People often save this kind of content for future reference, on sites such as Pinterest. Or choose to follow the brand on social media or subscribe in the hopes of learning more. Plus, if it’s really useful, people will tell their friends about it too. Thus, increasing the its visibility.
There are 3.5 billion searches conducted on Google every day. With users typically visiting the site 3 or more times a day. The last time you didn’t know the answer to a question, where did you turn? Chances are you used Google or another search engine to find out the answer.
Examples of content presented in an educational way include Why Content Marketing is a Serious Small Business Investment and Banana Banana Bread. Both articles aim to educate readers about a certain topic. One is about the benefits of content marketing while the other is a recipe for banana bread.
The marketing article is educates the reader on the benefits of investing in content marketing. Readers are given information to support their original search query. Thus, the reader is provided with value. As such, the reader trusts that the brand can help them and may turn to them for more marketing information in the future.
In comparison, the banana bread recipe teaches the reader how to make a new product. And this page offers it’s readers the ability to purchase all of the ingredients through affiliate links. The purpose of the article is to get readers to make a product and then ultimately use the website to search for future products. Which, in turn, increases the number of page views.
3. Good content informs its audience
Another example of good content informs users. Whether through webinars, email marketing, social media posts, vlogs, audiobooks, podcasts, reviews, infographics, reports, or any other medium providing information.
Many readers or listeners like facts and statistics. They often create talking points with their friends or family. So they are more likely to share a new article which is interesting or informative.
This particular type of content can sometimes have a shelf life. This is because information is updated all the time. What is necessarily current changes day to day, as new information is brought to light.
Especially in fast paced industries such as marketing. That’s why it’s important to reassess your content regularly. No one wants to read something that is no longer relevant. Consider rewriting or repurposing your old content from time to time.
Informative content enables brands or companies to build trust with consumers, clients or prospects.
For example, some instances include:
- The Points Guy UK weekly news round up
- The Independent’s video about the impact of Coronavirus on the travel industry
Both pieces of are informative. Despite the information being presented in different ways, both articles contain facts. They inform readers via words, links and videos about the topic of the story.
Let’s not forget why we want to publish good content
Ultimately let’s not forget the whole reason behind content creation. Of course, this will vary depending on yours or your company’s aims.
Reasons may include:
- To create a reputation for your brand
- Put a face to your brand to increase brand loyalty
- Solve your customer’s problems
- Sell a product or service
Each piece of content should be created with a clear purpose to help achieve your marketing goals.
Writing content that is entertaining, educational or informative will help you to achieve these goals. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness or sell a product. However, it takes time and effort to get it right.
Content marketing comes in a variety of forms with different purposes, but it should either be informative, educational, or entertaining.
If it’s enterntaing, it will engage your audience and capture their attention. And you can help solve problems for your customers if it’s educational. And content which informs can keep your audience up-to-date.
Content will lack value if it isn’t at least one of these three things. And, without value, you could find yourself writing lots of articles that don’t get read. Or creating videos or infographics with minimal engagement. Why waste all that time, for essentially…nothing?
In addition, alongside ensuring everything you create is entertaining, educational or informative, it should be consistent and high-quality too. And, it needs a clear purpose in mind. One which will help you to ensure everything you do aligns with your marketing strategy. And remember, all content needs a captivating, punchy title too.
Or else, it will get lost in the never-ending sea of online content.
Using a marketing consultant to produce good content to achieve your marketing goals
Producing good content for your business to attract new audiences and keep existing customers engaged is important. But some smaller companies or start-ups may lack the time and resources needed to do so.
Ensuring it is entertaining, educational or informative is only part of the battle. Good content which is high-quality needs a clear and defined content marketing strategy behind it.
This is where working with a marketing consultant, such as myself may benefit you. With over a decade in marketing, I have the knowledge and the team behind me to produce high-quality content to meet your marketing goals.
If you would like to hear about how we can help you with your content marketing, why not get in contact. I’d be happy to have an obligation-free chat and talk you through some of our previous achievements.