When it comes to writing for a content marketing site, you should be aware of several characteristics. First and foremost, the content must be relevant and appeal to the people—distributors, end customers, building managers, etc.—whom you are trying to attract.
However, according to Ann Handley, author of the book Content Rules, there are other aspects of effective content and effective content marketing. Here are just a few:
Make it true. One of the best ways to discuss how your product or service has helped a customer is through a case study, which discusses a problem and how your product or service solved it. The story must involve real people in a real-life situation. As Handley says, “your content must not be like story telling…it’s about telling a true story.”
Be human. Once someone directed me to his LinkedIn profile, and it was so full of 25-letter words and phrases that I could not understand anything he was trying to say. This person was obviously trying to be highfalutin, and that does not work with content marketing—especially in the jansan industry. Write as if you are talking to a few people in a small conference room. Be easy to understand.
Show some passion. The most effective content in content marketing is typically written by those who really like their business, their industry, and what they are sharing. Readers can feel this and will likely come back to the site to read more.
Make it original. Never use something that someone else has written and pass it off as yours. Not only is this plagiarism, but there is something else you should be aware of. Google—a desirable partner when it comes to content marketing—does not like this. Google calls it “duplicate content” when substantial blocks of content are pulled from one domain over to another. If it continues, Google’s mysterious spiders will likely think something deceptive is going on and put your content marketing site on the back burner, something you definitely do not want to have happen.
Have some variety. This is not one of Handley’s suggestions but one I recommend to my clients. A blog, for instance, does not always have to be words. Some people are “naturals” in videos. If you are a natural, some of your content should be in the form of videos, and our friend Google really likes videos.