How to Create Content that ISN’T Mediocre
It’s nearly the end of 2017.
The Internet isn’t just a little crowded, it’s very crowded.
So how can you get people to want to consume your content? It’s not as simple as just saying “make it good”. It needs to stand out amongst the 3.5 billion other Google searches that are happening every single day.
There’s no point in slaving away for hours on an article if you’re just going to be drudging up the same old content as everyone else. As the expression goes, a turd rolled in glitter is still a turd.
You should be thinking about your content marketing as if you are a TV executive. Create your content as though it's a TV program on Netflix – you want to get people hooked. Have a set format that your target audience just can’t get enough of and will want to keep coming back for more.
Why do people get so fixated on certain Netflix shows? Because they do something different, and they do it well. I bet nobody would have expected a TV show about a bunch of teenagers in high school could be so ground breaking and appeal to such a large adult audience – but “13 Reasons Why” sure did, because they were shocking and they were different.
As the great Neil Patel says, you need to master the art of how to make any subject interesting.
You want to create content that will get everyone talking and keep them coming back for more.
Writing an article and calling it “Marketing Tips” is not okay.
What is going to draw a reader in?
Try an alternative such as 5 Major Marketing Blunders from Last Year (That We Don’t Want You To Make This Year) – something that will intrigue, inform and help the reader. Even better than that, be more specific. Create something witty and interesting that people will actually want to read.
Stop doing what everyone else is doing
I know this is one of those tips you are just shaking your head at saying, “I know, I know”. But honestly, it’s one that you should always remember.
Don’t play it safe by doing what everyone else is doing. Writing the same article as your six main competitors, just in your own words, isn’t that exciting.
Try doing something different – it is your best opportunity to catch your target’s attention. Take a trending topic and spin it in an entirely different way than everyone else is doing it – otherwise, you’ll just blend in. And who wants to be a wallflower in the world of content marketing?
Be an expert
Common sense is boring.
People don’t look up articles just to read about what they already know. You need to be a pro on a topic that is sought after, so that people will actually want to continue listening to what you have to say (because they actually gain something from it). You want to be influential. You want to create your own narrative on a topic.
Why are websites like MOZ and Buzzsumo so popular? Because they continuously provide quality, informative content that readers actually learn a lot from – meaning people keep coming back for more. They are influential and they are teachers. They’ve become reference points for other digital marketers. This is what you should be striving for if you really want to make your mark.
Formulating your own research and insights on a topic is an excellent way to prove you’re an expert - such as our Australian Business Marketing Report we conducted recently here at PUNCH.
This allows you to teach your reader a thing or two and can grant you serious credibility. Come up with your own guides, your own tutorials, and your own research reports. You will be able to use these real-life examples over time to reinforce your content. When you prove that you are an industry expert, there’s a greater chance your reader will return to you for more resources down the line.
Try content shock
This is a method of content marketing that is highly debated online.
Look it up and you’ll find endless articles telling you its disastrous while many others say when done right its extremely beneficial. Think of content marketing like a funny version of supply and demand. The amount of content is increasing enormously daily, yet content engagement is decreasing rapidly.
So what are you going to do? Content shock. Get a conversation going.
A lot of people are afraid of the idea of content shock. They think, “I don’t want to scare people away”. But unless you do something really horrible – you won’t. When I say content shock, I mean doing something that will get people’s attention. It may be something over the top, or outrageous, or discussing a controversial topic. But trust me when I say that these types of material are what attract attention.
This doesn't have to mean an offer or something of any monetary value. This can mean a lasting emotional impression (positive, of course if you want them to keep coming back for more), industry insight or information that will help solve a reader’s pain point.
The best way to do this? Tell a story - this can be an incredible tactic. Stats show that stories activate a part of a person’s brain that allows them to relate the story to their own experience and ideas.
Just remember, people won’t care to read just any boring old story. But if you can come up with something that will provide some type of value or emotion for your readers, it can be of great reward.
The best articles are always those that don’t take themselves too seriously. Of course, your industry can make an impact on this. But regardless - who wants to read a piece that is too formal?
Think about it as though you’re having a conversation with someone face-to-face. You want to be professional, yet conversational. You want to inform yet intrigue with some wit or humour—nobody likes talking to a robot.
Moral of the story is you don’t just want to become one of those same old content creators writing article after article that only gets a few likes every time. You need to figure out a way to deliver quality and engaging content in a way that will work best for your business and your industry. Once you master this, your readers will keep coming back for more.