A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Three Rules for Great Content

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

We’ve all read tweets like these:

(Check out The Oatmeal for a more complete set of bad tweets illustrated.)

And we know how annoying those tweets are. So what should you be tweeting about instead?

Here are three rules to consider when creating any online marketing content, whether tweets, blog posts, press releases or web copy.

  1. Is it of interest to my audience?
  2. Does it provide evidence of my expertise?
  3. Is it consistent with my brand/personality?

It’s easy enough to say, “don’t be a colossal bore” – who ever thinks they’re a bore? But it takes a bit more thought to make sure that what you want to say is said in a way that’s interesting and of value to your audience.

But even that’s not enough – it has to be marketable. (Yes, most of you would be interested if I told you that I saw Lady Gaga canoodling at an out-of-the-way nightspot over the weekend with a very married titan of business, but that’s not really doing me any good as a marketer. Plus, I’d be making it up …)

All that said, don’t completely abandon the personal. Mention your kids every once in a while, or your passion for skydiving or macrame. It can’t be the focus of what you publish, but used judiciously, it can help create a human connection with your audience. Remember, content marketing, like any marketing, is most successful when it creates and strengthens relationships.

Some ideas for high-value content:

  • Industry news – changes in the competitive landscape
  • New techniques or technologies – developments that affect your clients’ businesses
  • Recent projects – but not as “look at me” preening. How did your work benefit your client? What was the quantifiable impact on their business.

One last tip: don’t fall prey to the idea that everything you know is old hat. If you’re like most people, you take for granted a lot of the knowledge that you’ve accumulated over the course of your career. Much of it can be the kernel of something insightful for your audience.

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