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When it comes to creating and developing content for your brand, you need to think like a publisher and not a marketer. Yes, these two roles have blurred with the rise of social media, but the best marketers are natural storytellers who are able to combine elements of creativity, humor and knowledge in very unique ways.
There is perhaps no better rule for content marketers than to be original. There are two good reasons for this. One, of course, is that Google rewards original content. If you are just recycling old content from elsewhere on the web, you are not going to do as well as if you were creating fresh, original content. The other reason involves your readers – these are your future customers, and they will reward you for fresh, original content by buying your products.
We live in a very visual age. The old days of cranking out long text-heavy articles without any images, videos or GIFs is over. These days, every single piece of content needs to be accompanied by a photo. That goes for social media as well – study after study shows that people are more willing to click on a piece of social media content (such as a tweet) if it has a compelling photo attached to it. There are so many free stock photo sites today that failing to include a photo with a post is just plain lazy.
People respond to stories. In fact, telling stories seems to be hard-wired into the human condition. It’s why ancient tribes used to gather in front of the campfire at night and share their greatest legends with each other. Or why stories from ancient Greece continue to resonate to this very day. So don’t be afraid to tell stories about your brand. One simple story is the “founder’s story” – a brief story of how you launched, why you launched, and what you are planning for the future. If you are looking for great examples of founder’s stories, check out the “About Us” page of brands that you admire.
Inform and educate
In the digital era, it’s hard to pass off “fluff” and “BS” to prospects and potential customers. People can spot that from a mile away. You want to inform and educate people, give them new ways of thinking about the world, and help them solve problems in their everyday lives. The classic example of “informing and educating,” of course, is the “How To” article or video. Show – not just tell – people how to do something worthwhile.
Provide actionable content
Ever noticed how many brands are out there, offering tips, examples, and checklists of things to do? Those are all practical examples of “actionable content.” Readers (or viewers) can process your content, and then achieve something as a result. Everybody is looking for ways to become better at what they do, and here is where brands can make a big difference.
Just remember – every now and then, try to mix up the content that you provide to readers and viewers. You can’t just churn out listicle after listicle and hope to retain readers. Throw in some “thought leader” pieces from time to time, and also throw in a few curveballs here and there to see how readers respond. It might just open up new ideas for the growth of your business – maybe a new menu offering for your restaurant, a new accessory you can sell alongside your core product offering, or a new service for an underserved customer demographic. By telling the right stories and being original in your content, you’ll be able to unlock new growth opportunities.