Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Three Pillars of Content Marketing for 2016

For the past few years, content has been establishing itself as the dominant form of marketing, and in 2016, it will likely achieve that goal. Every year, more and more businesses are making quality content a higher priority and putting more money behind its creation.
And while this is great news for writers, it does create a bit of a problem.
The digital revolution has produced hundreds of thousands of millions of businesses, marketers, advertisers, etc. vying for consumer attention through social media, email, ads, blogs, and more. And with so much information floating around, it's becoming harder and harder for someone to get noticed online and to have their message heard. Even worse, so much of what's being thrown at the consumer is utter garbage.
And this isn't going to stop. So how do businesses find exposure in the face of information overload?
By building great content!
Of course, as it is with most things, creating great content is easier said than done. In order to be truly effective in our modern market, you have to build your content atop the Three Pillars: Curation, Information, and Authenticity.
Let's explore.
As the overall pool of information grows wider and deeper, the consumers' catalogue of source material grows smaller. Basically, the more information that's available, the more labor intensive it becomes to sift through it all and find the information one is looking for. Therefore, people are more likely to stick to a handful of trusted sources, often ones that deal specifically with their particular interests or career.
For years, there have been numerous blogs, self-help books, advice columns, etc. that attempt to provide blanket information to cover a wide range of possible situations. But too much broad appeal is a bad thing.
When you're creating content for your marketing strategy this year--be it social media, email, or blogs--you want to focus on curating that content for very specific audiences, demographics, career paths, and industries.
Truly informative, educational, or instructional content trumps entertainment all day, every day (at least when it comes to business).
True value in your content comes from showing someone HOW to do something. Teach them how to navigate a particularly difficult task. Help them solve a problem. Show them how to gain a new skill. Instructional content is highly sought after in this day and age. And if you'd like some examples, check out some of these blogs:
I actually touched on this topic in a previous blog, but it bears repeating. The current generation of workers, voters, and (increasingly) owners and entrepreneurs crave authenticity. Advertisements, even from Google and Facebook, are slowly circling the drain and will likely be all but obsolete in the next 5 years. Rather than focusing your money and efforts on a dying breed of marketing, invest in authentic content.
It may sound elusive, but really, authentic content simply means creating content that:
A: Is honest.
B: Has the best interest of the reader in mind.
C: Shows you care about more than just profit.
D: Reflects something you truly, honestly believe in.
Make no mistake; the current generation of consumers can sniff out dishonest and fake content from a mile away. So be authentic.

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