For the last few years, content marketing has been the buzzword on everyone’s lips. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 70 percent of B2B marketers plan to create more content in 2017 compared to 2016. Everyone’s business is different, and while there’s no single template for creating and distributing content that leads to new customers or sales, there are some rules to live by. Here are the 10 Commandments of Content Marketing.
- Thou shalt be human. No matter the subject, your readers are human beings and they want you to interact with them as such. Even technical subject matter can be humanized.
- Thou shalt be brand humble. This goes along with the first commandment. Some content should be about your company, your products and/or your services—like sales brochures. However, not all content should be written with the intent to sell. More often than not, your content should serve the primary purposes of educating, entertaining, solving problems or inspiring people.
- Thou shalt repurpose. Digital content shouldn’t be paralyzing to create. Look at the content you currently have and determine how you can reimagine that content into different formats.
- Thou shalt be organized. If you’re like me, you live and die by your planner (or now, my iPhone’s calendar). An editorial calendar is my must-have accessory for a digital content plan. It ensures that you’re putting your plan into action and that content pieces are being distributed via the appropriate channels.
- Thou shalt be relevant. If your content isn’t relevant to your audience, who is going to read it? To do so, you need to understand who your audience is, what topics they’re interested in and what content formats they’re likely to consume.
- Thou shalt have a team. Digital content development and execution isn’t a one-person job. You’ll need a team of people to help you generate content ideas, develop the editorial calendar, write and design the content, distribute it and measure its performance.
- Thou shalt have an awesome headline. Even as a writer, sometimes the hardest part of what I’m writing is coming up with a great headline. An attention-grabbing headline is what will make your content get noticed, consumed and shared.
- Thou shalt be easy to share. Speaking of sharing, make sure your content can be shared without barriers. While some premium content pieces might be gated by a form, most of your content should be free and easily shared on various social channels.
- Thou shalt not abandon content. Have you ever visited a blog that hadn’t been updated in months or maybe even years? It always makes me wonder if the company is still in business. Developing a content calendar and committing to deadlines can help you stay on track and keep your website and blog up to date.
- Thou shalt honor thy proofing and legal departments. While digital content doesn’t have to be sent off to a printer and can usually be easily uploaded to a website, it still needs to go through the proper checks and balances internally. This should include proofing, legal and any other department that needs to put their stamp of approval on the piece.
Those are just a few of the “commandments” I live by when developing and distributing digital content, but many more could be added to this list.
What are some content marketing rules you live by? Share your tips by leaving us a comment!