Original insights in international business and marketing
If you look around you’ll probably notice that almost everyone is jumping onboard the digital marketing bandwagon like its the last chopper out of Saigon. Content is the new buzzword that no aspiring marketing exec can be caught ignoring in their strategy plans, their lingo or their PowerPoint decks.
While this is an encouraging trend for consumers tired of getting shouted at in mind numbing advertising campaigns, the thought of swarms of companies pouring untold resources into competing content does send a chill down the spine. A lot of content does not automatically translate into quality reading that people will engage in. There needs to be intelligent purpose going into each blog, newsletter or article. But the form and tone also need to be original and endearing.
Words may fill up a page but they can also leave the reader feeling empty if they lack purpose or resonance. This is just hollow or shallow content and we all know where that comes from… Meanwhile, the sprinkling in of a few key words into text that rambles on meaninglessly won’t fool Search Engines for long and it certainly won’t pass muster with the intended audience. Remember that the content which gets created is a reflection of the entity that publishes it. At the end of the day, content has to fulfill at least one of the following three objectives without which it is mere fluff devoid of any value.
1. Educate. High value content should at the very least aim to teach the reader something practical or new. A new idea, tip, skill or perspective delights and enriches the reader.
2. Entertain. If education is not the primary goal of content it can still be entertaining. Be it colorful, humorous, artistic, visually appealing, suspenseful, or just plain creative, entertaining content seeks to leave the reader relishing his or her experience.
3. Inform. Similar – but not identical – to the principle of educating, the goal of informing the reader is to provide new information for a hungry mind. The sharing of facts, figures and news leaves the reader more aware and attuned to the subject of her interest. A convincingly informed reader is therefore more likely to return to a website just like a reader returns to the same newspaper for her daily source of news.
Quality content may only deliver on one of these dimensions at a time but outstanding content should seek to educate and inform while making the reader enjoy the entire experience. Thus, the rewarded reader is a returning reader with whom a relationship can begin.