Insider tip: all content follows the same three rules

March 5, 2015

I have to say, it’s been a bit more challenging than usual lately to remember the perks of this city. I blame that snow mountain right in the middle of the sidewalk I’ve had to clamber over on my way to work. Fortunately, the city doesn’t cease to function when the bad weather hits (D.C. anyone? I’m from there so I can say it) and its vibrant content community shall not be stopped.
Last week a group of Boston journalists, marketers and PR pros laced up their snow boots and ventured downtown for a discussion of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to drafting and designing imaginative and effective content, courtesy of Boston Content. Different roundtables were led by members of the media and corporate worlds alike. Each had the overarching goal of gathering curious content consumers and creators to share insider tips, proven methods and ongoing obstacles regarding how we put out and take in content, particularly in the B2B world.
So what did we learn? That no matter how non-traditional, out-of-the-box or surprising our channels of content delivery become, there are a few longstanding tenets to keep mind:

  • Be yourself. (Or as the case may be, be your company.) Lean into a chosen voice; don’t shy away from it. Content with a personality, that operates around the basic human understanding of what’s interesting and what’s jargon, will be what engages a reader. Only robots read robotic writing.
  • Be trustworthy. How frustrated are you getting with click bait headlines that don’t deliver? Don’t be that guy. Uphold the value and expectation, and your audience will uphold their end in turn (which means not unsubscribing).
  • Be concise. Don’t say in 17 words what you could just as easily say in seven (while still factoring in the goal of the platform; an e-book has more wiggle room than a blog). You’re busy, and your readers are busy, so get to the point in an elegant and efficient manner. The soaring popularity of easily digestible news formats like The Skimm and BriefMe are evidence of this preference.

Now that you have those rules down, you can have some fun. The content ecosystem has few limits. The term has broadened to include e-books, infographics, e-newsletters, blogs, SlideShares and pretty much anything else your target market chooses to read. Take advantage of these opportunities – just keep these rules in mind. Your audience will thank you.
Interested in having that fun with your company’s content, but not sure where to begin? Check out our content marketing services and more. 

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