Archive for category Content
I had the opportunity to attend an excellent presentation on content marketing by Michael Brenner, vice president of marketing and content strategy at SAP. Content marketing is experiencing astronomical growth the last two to three years, with no slow down in sight. Some of the frenzy over content, however, seems to have the feel of chasing the latest shiny object for brand marketers.
Is there a decent ROI when it comes to content marketing? I believe there can be, but it’s going to take some growth and practice to really hone in on everything that well done content marketing can offer.
For instance, in order to be most effective, Brenner correctly pointed out that content needs the following:
- Simple answers to relevant questions
- Consumer-centric focus
- To be more visual consumable and “snackable”
- Emotional messages (these are twice as effective as promotional messages)
- Focus on helping on the customer
- Entertainment value as well as information
Mark Schaefer’s recent post about Content Shock had some truth to it. Content production is increasing so dramatically that it will reach a tipping point, if it hasn’t already. The vast supply of content means is will be tougher to break through the noise for most marketers and reach their audience. Those that succeed will have one of two things 1.) Really deep pockets to promote their content, or 2.) Excellence in producing the best content that breaks through the clutter.
Succeeding in content marketing is a tall order for sure, but it can be done. Points like the ones above are just the start, so much more goes into creating really great content that gets noticed and drives action. What would you add to the list?
Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, when it comes to content, shorter, bite-sized pieces are often (but not always) better. For marketers and content publishers, competition for attention and speed of information almost necessitates shorter content in many cases.
Shorter content allows more frequent publishing, which is needed when the average life of a tweet, Facebook or Google+ post is only hours.
It can also be saved and built into lengthier content pieces. Entire books have come out of a of series of blog posts. If the content is collected it can be used for any number of long-form applications.
Bite-sized content also allows fast communication. Views can be shared more immediately while news is breaking.
Passive audiences are also more likely to consume a short piece of content than a piece they fear will steal their time.
Long content pieces will always continue to have their place and importance. But with content marking, saying it as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality are becoming as important as ever.
Here are a couple excellent (but longer) posts on content brevity:
There is a lot (understatement) of information available on how to become a great writer. Much of it is helpful, to an extent. But consider this, clearly the most important aspect of becoming a great writer is by actually sitting down and writing.
If you want to improve as a writer, you won’t do that by simply reading more about writing. You must write daily. Write at scheduled times. Write with deadlines. Write with goals. But the key in all of it is to write, and to continue to do so.
The repetition will help develop and solidify your writing skills. Thoughtful practice will bring about improvement. But that practice must be consistent and frequent.
Part of the reason that many people don’t start or don’t write enough is the fear that comes from wanting perfection. But great writing is as much a process as it is about ability. The skills can be developed with practice. The process and results can be improved over time.
Definitely watch and learn from others, but get started. Don’t try to be perfect. Try to consistently deliver value and improve. You’ll be surprised at the great writing that’s waiting to come out.
What do you think?