The cliché “content is king” is missing an important word: exceptional.
Most corporate marketers are sold on the opportunities that come with publishing their own content. It helps with awareness and credibility, and enhances organic search engine optimization.
Plus, when content flows from a defined strategy and is aligned with sales outcomes (i.e. lead generation, prospect cultivation and deal capture), it can produce a measurable ROI.
Some refer to this as branded journalism. Others called sponsored content. And some tag it as content marketing.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter much what it is called because the failure of content-rich communications typically can be attributed to a glaring fault – the content sucks.
Customers, prospects, partners, investors and employees do not want to read, watch or listen to promotional schlock. They don’t care about corporate messaging and they’re adverse to spin.
And they don’t need a company to aggregate content from different sources and spit it back out to them under a corporate banner. There is little value in content aggregation.
Exceptional content can be categorized into three areas:
1. A unique perspective or opinion on a timely, relevant and meaningful topic. Many executives love the concept of thought leadership; few embrace its responsibilities and potential liabilities.
2. A great “get.” I’m referring to exclusive content that readers can only find from you. Why did this Q&A receive so much readership and social sharing? It’s because I was the first to profile Eloqua CEO Joe Payne after the company’s successful IPO.
3. Brilliantly constructed prose. Regardless of the environment (i.e. consumer, business-to-business or public sector), people desire to be engaged and entertained. Consider this essay on global soccer sensation Lionel Messi.
There is a reason why people read and, in some cases, pay for the New York Times. Their writers know how to write.
Did I miss attributes of exceptional content?