“Blog every single day, once a day. Don’t follow trends. Don’t measure. Don’t read the comments. Start now.”
Seth Godin, best-selling author and blogger.
Want to get your website read more and your blog posts shared more? Of course you do and so do I.
So I’ve spent a good deal of time analyzing the similiarites of content that gets shared most frequently. Here’s what I discovered: great content has three attributes or ingredients that separate it from other content.
Today, I want to share with you the three secret ingredients needed for creating great content. While these ingredients may seem obvious, the vast majority of companies and individuals ignore them. Please do not underestimate them and their value.
So let’s get started.
Ingredient #1: Be helpful
Not long ago a student in my social media marketing course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison wanted to know the secret to succeeding with social. I told him the most successful person in social I knew of was Chris Brogan. So I suggested he reach out to Chris via Twitter and ask him what the key to success was. He replied with a simple two-word answer, “Be helpful.” Fantastic advice and it’s why Chris is so amazing.
The main reason people go online is to solve a problem. The don’t go online thinking, “Gee I really need some more advertising and marketing in my life…I especially want to be sold something I don’t want or need, so I’ll go online.” They go online thinking, “I have a problem and need to solve it.”
So instead of selling, help.
As Jay Baer shows in his best-selling book YouTility, companies that provide value win. Smart marketing, Jay says, is about HELP not HYPE. So make sure your content is helping your audience solve a problem.
INGREDIENT #2: Be audience-focused
On the topic of audience, you must provide content that speaks to a core audience. Cicero said, “If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.” When you are creating content on your website, you aren’t doing it for you, you are doing it for your customers. Keep this in mind.
When you are looking for a product or service online, what do you prefer? Finding a company blog that provides useful answers to your questions or finding a company blog that tells you why their product or service is the “best” one or the “only” one to consider.
Of course the answer is you prefer the useful content. So why would it be any different for your customers? Quit talking about yourself and start focusing on your audience.
INGREDIENT #3 Be authentic
Be honest with your prospects and clients. It isn’t much of a revelataion to say people do business with people they know, they like, and they trust.
This means not being afraid to address important topics such as cost, price, and competition. It also means being who you are online as much as you are in person. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Sure, some people might not like the way you talk or dress, but that’s okay.
As Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”
Think of the case studies we’ve covered the past 3 days. What separates them from their competitors? I wholeheartedly believe the companies add these secret ingredients to all they do.
Review your company marketing materials. Are they 1) helpful? 2) audience-focused? 3) authentic? If not, how can you improve them?
In our next post, we’ll discuss how to come up with an almost limitless source of blog posts and blog post titles.