Content Marketing 201: How to Create Better Content

Want to create content that gets better engagement and views because it helps your audience? We have a wealth of practical tips and expert opinions in our last installment of the Content Marketing 201 series. Keep reading to find out how to create better content for your brand.

Creating content: Follow the golden ratio of content.

There are two types of created content: owned and promotional.

Owned content is simply content you create that doesn’t have a sales pitch attached. For instance, this blog post is an example of owned content. Although we hope our readers enjoy our blogs posts enough to check out the awesome services we provide, we’re also committed to providing helpful, relevant advice and information to our readers – no strings attached.

Promotional content includes a specific call to action. This includes advertisements, coupons, giveaways, contests, and any message that is transactional (you offer something to your reader in exchange for information or money).

Most businesses will create owned and promotional content, on top of the curated content we discussed last week. Follow a simple rule to know how much of each type of content to make. It’s called the golden ratio of content: 30 percent owned, 10 percent promotional, and 60 percent curated.

(Check out Rallyverse’s presentation for their explanation behind the golden ratio and why it works.)

Owned content: Share the message your audience wants.

When your readers search online for content, they’re looking for entertainment, information, advice, stories, and social connections. Typically they aren’t looking for your brand.

Our advice: Make content that contains information, stories, and ideas your audience wants to find. Focus on fulfilling your audience’s wants more than fulfilling a sales or promotional strategy (although it’s always important to reinforce a brand message).

How to do it: First, understand your audience by creating buyer personas that detail various types of audiences. Second, brainstorm content ideas and types that fit each buyer persona. Third, schedule your content to address buyer persona needs in a logical order. (Address fundamental concerns first, and then move onto more specific or detailed ideas once you build the foundation.)

What works best: Eccolo Media released a survey report that details what content works best in different phases of a buyer’s journey.

Promoted content: Share the message your audience needs.

Your audience has problems that they need help solving. While they may not feel compelled or interested in your brand’s promotions, they are interested in finding solutions to their problems.

Our advice: Frame your promotional content as fulfilling a need in your audience’s lives. It will become a message they will gladly accept and act upon.

How to do it: First, identify your audience’s needs and problems to be solved. (This step should be easy if you’ve created those buyer personas.) Second, tailor messages about your services and products to address a specific buyer need or problem. Third, craft short promotional messages that show your audience how your service or product fulfills their need.

What works best: KISSmetrics boils down the theory of using a buyer’s pain in promotional content to three easy-to-follow steps:

  1. Identify your audience’s pain.
  2. Remind your audience of the pain.
  3. Show your audience the solution to their pain (hint, that’s you!).

We will continue to discuss, share, theorize, and wrestle with content marketing struggles and successes into 2015. What’s your biggest content marketing obstacle for the new year? Let us know on Twitter, hashtag #bettercontent.

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