Imagine being in kitchen stadium, but it’s content stadium. And you’re up against the best, say Bobby Flay. But maybe it’s Ann Handley of Marketing Profs. And here you are battling it out for Iron Chef America (I’m not even going to butcher that one by making up Iron Content Writer America. It just doesn’t work. Use your imagination). The lights are on you. You’re ready and prepped to start creating. And you hear the Chairman yell “Allez cuisine!”
Stressful, right? I can’t even imagine that pressure. Oh wait, yes I can, because it happens every day with content marketing. You could create the most useful and informative asset you think you’ve ever written. Yet, when the judges (your audience) get a piece of it, you get completely torn apart for lack of originality and substance. And let’s not even get started with how good the other contestant’s content is.
We’re all battling with this content overload, each piece striving to be better than the next. Who can get the most subscribed, the most shares, the most likes?! I recently came across a great article from Marketing Profs written by Jeannette de Beauvoir titled Be the Best Answer: Four Steps to Developing Winning Content. And they nailed it.
Be the best answer. Be useful. Be relevant.
Alright so let’s dive into their four steps… and bear with me… I’ll be comparing it to Iron Chef and the Food Network the whole time. Wait… is it lunch time yet?
Step 1: Articles and content offering tips and practical advice are perennial favorites.
Horrible cook here. Burn everything. If you’ve followed the blog, you know this already. But the Food Network is seriously my saving grace. Thirty minute meals with Rachel Ray practically got me through college without starving or being on a diet of ramen and beer. And why am I still watching their network every day religiously even though I could never make half of the meals on there? Because it’s useful. They offer all the tips and tricks I need. So when I do get invited to that dinner party, I no longer have to run to Publix and grab the pre made casserole dish and pretend it’s my own. Thirty minutes and you got yourself a pretty decent meal. They got me hooked!
Step 2: Content that’s tied in to other things going on in the world.
“We’ll use avocado, since they’re in season.” “How about adding strawberries to the dessert, since they’re in season.” This used to mean nothing to me until I tasted the difference, and now I totally get it. Using ingredients that are relevant in that month or during that season can make a dish more refreshing, lighter and, in general, better. Just like with your content. Relate to events or topics that are relevant right now. That’s the fun of being in content marketing! Take a fun holiday or event or pop culture reference and find how it can apply to your marketing strategy (hint hint Iron Chef America, ladies and gentlemen).
Step 3: Embraces all media, including graphics, sound, and video.
Back to Iron Chef America. Seriously, how many cameras do they possibly have to have in kitchen stadium?! I’m pretty sure there is one for every angle possible. And they do it because if they add flair and imagery to the chefs’ progress, the audience will be more engaged than if they just had one shot straight ahead of the chef and never spiced it up. Again, just like your content. Static content is like that straight ahead shot. No beautiful mouth-watering shots, no excitement in the background. Nothing. But interactive content, graphics, videos even… now that’s exciting and will definitely keep the audience’s mouth watering and staying engaged to see what the end result is.
Step 4: Get people involved.
This may be my favorite step. Who doesn’t love to be a part of something? Heck, TV has been overtaken by reality shows where the audience votes for whoever is their favorite. Voting or writing in for your favorite foodie place to be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives? You better believe it’s interactivity at it’s finest. Engage your audience and get them talking. Find out what they want to know, and with that, strategize your content marketing to aim towards helping and being the best answer for them.
Is your content useless? Most definitely not. But is it the best, most engaging, most interactive answer for your audience? Make sure of it! Transform that static content into an interactive experience for your visitors and keep them coming back for more!
So, like Charlie Sheen—just as entertaining but more put together, is your content #winning?
Want more inspiration for how to be the best answer for your audience? Register now and explore the interactive guide, Cutting Through The Clutter By Activating Your Content, now!