We are living in an age of information overload. You don’t have to take my word for it; you can feel it. There are seemingly limitless blogs and publications that are churning out content on a daily basis. If you’re in charge of running a blog (either brand or personal), how can you possibly stand out amongst the crowd?
The short answer is that it all boils down to your content. If you have good content, people will read. If you have bad content, people will drop you like you’re hot. Sure, that’s an oversimplified explanation, but at its core, it’s true. Which leads us to our next question: what makes for good content?
There are a lot of different components that go into stellar content. Here are three of the most important to keep in mind:
It’s fresh and original. One of the first things you should consider when compiling content is how you can give audiences something fresh and original. Playing copycat might get people to stop by once, but it will not slot you in as an ongoing must-read. If it’s a topic that has been discussed, look for ways to provide a fresh perspective, something that will get readers thinking beyond what they’ve already heard before. There may be a lot of other blogs out there, but the ones that are actually providing something new and unique are few and far between.
If you’re struggling to come up with original content, try tapping some of your internal resources. Talk with your company’s leadership team, people who naturally spend their time thinking outside the box.
It’s educational. Each time you write, your readers should walk away with something of value that they can apply to their everyday lives. Whether it’s how to use Google Analytics in PR or how to use social media as a healthcare brand, your readers should have something actionable to take with them. It can be styled as a how-to or a tips post; the format doesn’t necessarily matter as long as it’s providing value. If your audience knows they’re learning something that will empower them to be better at their job, you’ll have lifelong readers.
It caters to your audience’s needs. In other words: give the people what they want. One of the best ways to create great content is to tap into the questions your audience is asking on a regular basis. For example, recently we received a tweet from one of our Twitter followers:
We saw this as a great opportunity to create two blog posts to answer his question, one on employee-produced content and another on internal advocates. We crafted content around a great idea that came directly from our audience. Some of the best content ideas rest within your audience. Keep your ears peeled during calls or meetings for questions your clients are asking. And don’t be afraid to directly ask your social media followers what they’d like to see covered on your blog. This will give you a wealth of ideas that won’t leave you guessing what your audience wants to read about.
These three components will help create a better blog process that features great content. Remember: Keep it fresh. Keep it smart. And give the people what they want.
Senior Marketing Analyst