So you're planning to make a splash with that hot new product, functionality or service, and you've decided to implement your first content marketing plan to go with it. Welcome to the Conversation Age!
Now, assuming your content marketing strategy is in place, it's time to write that content. And as you do, remember one word: PURE
- Entertainment value
If your content has these four elements, you're well on your way to an effective content marketing campaign.
P is for Purpose
Everything we do, we do for a purpose, right? A means to an end, and the end typically justifies the means. And with content marketing, the purpose is a call-to-action— that thing that drives the reader to engagement— to buy, click, download or whatever your content is driving at.
"Begin with the end in mind," says management guru Steven Covey in his breakout bestseller Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Chess masters and game theorists do it all the time— they assess the state of the game, follow it to its natural conclusion, then play it backward.
That's how you want to approach your call to action (or "CTA"). Start with the CTA as your purpose for the readers, then construct your content to get them there.
U is for Utility
OK, so you've got your purpose, now how do you drive readers to engage? SImple. You add utility. Make your content educational to the reader. Not "will-this-be-on-the-test?" education, but rather, "wow-this-made-me-go-hmmm" education.
And how do you do that? Look the reader in the eye as you shake hands. But with words.
Think back to college. What burned the biggest impression on you? Was it the professor in the 300-seat lecture hall? Or was it the 15-seat recitation section afterward, maybe with the teaching assistant? Or maybe it was the philosophic argument with your classmates while you sipped (or chugged) a hot (or cold) beverage.
You see, education is everywhere. Every day is a bombardment of messages, enticements and other tidbits of information designed to attract our attention. So you'd better stand out.
R is for Readability
Let's face it— we're racing the clock with our content. Remember that constant bombardment of messages? Well, the next batch is ringing in, and you're about to be put on hold— or worse, disconnected— unless you get to the point quickly.
In short? Keep it short. Lists are good. Bullets are even better. A picture, as they used to say, is worth 1000 words. Nowadays, an infographic is worth considerably more. The human brain is one big filing cabinet, and if you don't have a system to categorize it, you're going to get lost in the shuffle.
Think of it as "Survival of the Fittest...Content" because it's only the stuff with the most utility, delivered in a user-friendly fashion, that gets to take up long-term residence on Planet Brain.
E is for Entertainment Value
"Don't just educate me," your typical reader is thinking, "entertain me." Why? Because that's what your competition is doing.
By now, you should have already shaken virtual hands with the reader, so you're pals, right? And what do pals do? They share good times. They support each other. They make it hard to part ways because the moment you turn away is the moment you might miss something good.
Put it all together and what have you got?
PURE content marketing genius.