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the 6 Rules Of Content Creation And Why They Matter

By Amy ChetwyndComments

The 6 rules of content creation and why they matter

Lead generation remains the number one goal for sales and marketing teams.

Then why is it, 63% of marketers cite generating traffic and leads as their top challenge? (Hubspot)

Content holds the answer. But not just any content. It must cater to your personas and fulfil these six, sink or swim criteria…

1. It’s not promotional

Content isn’t advertising - it isn’t a sugar-coated cold call.

It certainly isn’t interruptive.

Content is valuable, informed guidance for real people, looking for real solutions to their problems.

As Brian Sutter, Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode Technologies told Forbes last year...

“The idea of teaching instead of selling seems to turn marketing on its head, and yet it’s at the core of content marketing. ‘Teach, don’t sell’ is exactly what makes content marketing different from advertising.”

2. It’s relevant to your audience

Each niche has its own idiosyncrasies, its own unique hurdles to overcome - and so, generic content offers little relevance to its readers. Marketers must go above and beyond the call of duty to discover what their audience needs and adapt their output.

The purpose of top-of-funnel content (especially) is to educate and inform a wide range of prospective buyers, alerting them to your expertise.

Keep your finger on the pulse by monitoring social media or industry forums. Spot trends, identify common challenges or frequently asked questions. These topics provide the perfect springboards for relevant content to reach your audience.

82% of consumers like reading content from brands when it’s relevant. (The CMA)

Take a hint.

Rules of content marketing

3. It closes a gap

Content should answer the questions your audience is asking.

If the stuff you’re floating out there is all filler, no killer. If it doesn’t really say much at all, you’re not only going to lose the reader, but also credibility and authority.

Look again at the common pain points of your customers...

Does your content answer their burning questions and make their life easier?

Learn how to craft powerful content that delivers the goods. Inspire, inform and energise them with your words.

Take US advertising sales company, Cox Media.

In an effort to increase engagement among its prospective clients it created a holiday advertising ‘countdown calendar’ to help local businesses plan their marketing.

The content included checklists, workbooks, videos, infographics and graphic eBooks. The approach prompted a 60% increase in client enquiries, while interactions and shares were up 10% or more over previous campaigns.

Grasp this opportunity to be indispensable to your prospective customers, and steal a march on your competitors.

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4. It’s well written

Don’t risk your reputation.

The way your content is written and produced is just as important as the message it carries. Be vigilant, and maintain a high standard throughout everything you do.

Keep it on point, concise, articulate and ramble-free.

And check, check and check again before you hit ‘publish’.

Even the slightest spelling or grammatical error can make your company look sloppy or amateur - ultimately undermining your expert knowledge.

Rules of content marketing

As Jeffrey Gitomer, American author and business trainer says, “Your grammar is a reflection of your image. Good or bad, you have made an impression. And like all impressions, you are in total control”.

5. It reflects your company

Stay on brand and align content to your own business objectives.

Do not create content for the sake of creating content. If it isn’t supportive, in some way, of your goals, don’t bother wasting your time and resources on it.

Have a content strategy that tightly adheres to your business goals. This will keep you focused on what’s important and make your content work harder.

But don’t let this stifle creativity.

Hootsuite advises you “come up with great ideas for content, then see how you can tie them back to your content marketing goals. It may just be a matter of adding a relevant Call To Action (CTA) or choosing specific channels to publish on”.

6. It gives proof

While you’re trying to hit those business objectives, your content shouldn’t come across as biased. It’s important to ensure your message is backed up with quotes, data, and insights from independent industry experts.

Try to avoid conjecture. Hard facts and real-world examples will all serve to add credibility to your content.

Indeed, the 2016 edition of the B2B Content Marketing Report reveals that case studies are the most effective content marketing tactic and format.

After all, what’s more powerful than a peer’s success story?

Let’s wrap up

So there you have it, the 6 sink or swim criteria of content marketing in a nutshell.

This was never about the hard sell. Your content should be valuable and relevancy is key to your success. Be the font of all knowledge your audience needs and answer their burning questions.

And don’t forget to articulate your points and add a little bit of personality into the mix. Reflect on your company image to bring your brand to life.

Finally, prove what you say! You know you’re right, so prove it to everyone else.

We have lots of new blog posts in the pipeline which we don’t want you to miss out on, so make sure you subscribe to our newsletter (below) to be the first to receive SupaReal content updates!

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