8 Rules for Effective Content

by Nathan King


Creating great content is an amazing way to fuel your search engine marketing and social media efforts. That is, assuming you're creating content that is worth someone's time.

On social networks, the brands that create effective content become the conversation. This content is talked about, shared, "liked" and socially bookmarked. These are the social indicators that search engines are starting to pay attention to in order to rank relevant search results. That's right. Search and social are getting in bed together!

While nobody is quite certain what exactly is going on under the covers (you're curious, admit it), brands need to focus on creating effective content.

How to create effective content:

Effective Content Marketing

Content Rule 1: Accessible. The explosion and continuing growth of smartphone adoption means that your content will be consumed on a number of different devices. Small screens, medium screen and big screens - your content needs to be easy to consume. Large fonts and visual aides also go a long way to help people quickly scan your content.

Content Rule 2: Shareable. Anyone can share a link, but do they want to? Make your content valuable enough that people will feel they have to share it - that by not sharing it they are doing the world a disservice.

Content Rule 3: Memorable. If you create more of the same old content that your audience has been reading or watching for months, they're not going to remember it. Write something unique. Give it a spin they haven't seen before.

Content Rule 4: Measurable. Whether you are creating content yourself or outsourcing it, content costs money. Make sure what you create is being tracked so it can be properly evaluated. After some time, you'll begin to understand why some content takes off and other content does not.

Content Rule 5: Credible. You can have the best blog post ever, but poor grammar damages your reputation. In addition, any data or facts you present in your content should be backed up with sources and solid research.

Content Rule 6: Actionable. Brand engagement shouldn't stop at content consumption. Effective content allows for participation and interaction. For example, Ford Mustang has a wonderful tool that allows you to build and customize a car and then share it. Content can also become actionable using call-to-actions. Hubspot does this quite well.

Content Rule 7: Purposeful. If your content doesn't have purpose, you're not going to get far. Decide ahead of time what your objectives are and make sure any calls to action are properly aligned.

Content Rule 8: Indisposable. Someone is going to want to read a great piece of content more than once. They'll export it to their Kindle or Nook readers. They may even print it and keep in within arms' reach.

Just like life, some rules were meant to be broken. I've seen great content that followed all of these rules as well some that only adhere to a few of these. What are your rules for effective content? Add it in the Comments.

 

Nathan KingNathan King is a Digital Strategist at Long Island advertising agency Austin & Williams and a leader in Social Media marketing. To read more about Nathan, visit his bio section on the A&W Web site.

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