Content is King: Five Tips for Creating Quality Content Your Customers Care About

Most marketers have heard the saying “content is king.” But what does that really mean? 

The phrase is commonly attributed to an essay penned by Bill Gates in 1996, when the internet was in its infancy and we had just begun to imagine the possibilities of websites, publishing platforms, ecommerce stores and social media channels.  

The reason content is king is because customers are hungry for and engage most with quality, engaging and relevant content.  

Content Marketing 101 

When marketers talk about content, it’s usually in the context of content marketing – a broad term used to describe how brands use the building blocks of articles, photos, videos, podcasts, white papers, case studies, marketing collateral and more to talk about their products and services in a way that engages customers and sets them apart from the competition. It’s not just about selling a product or service, it’s about delivering information to your audience that is: 

  • Findable

  • Readable 

  • Understandable 

  • Actionable 

  • Shareable 

(Content Marketing Institute)  

This looks different to different types of brands. A restaurant might mix up content about their menu items and daily specials with a Q&A with the chef, recipes or how-to videos for making quality cocktails. A retailer selling children’s clothing or goods might share parenting tips or ideas for seasonal activities to do with kids. And content marketing is not just for consumer brands. There are endless opportunities for business-to-business companies to offer customers and prospects key industry insights, educational articles and helpful information about common business challenges.  

What Quality Content Marketing Looks Like 

The #1 mistake marketers make is assuming all content is created equal. Trust us, it’s not. When brands produce irrelevant or low-quality content, it’s a huge turn-off for audiences. On the flip side, brands thrive when they consistently produce quality content to share with their audience. Quality beats quantity every time.   

Below are 5 tips to help your content reign as king. 

  1. Have a solid brand voice.
    Before any content can be developed, you have to know who you want to be to your audience. What are you trying to tell them? What is your brand personality? This brand voice will be the foundation for every piece of content. 

  2. Know your audience
    It’s always smart to go back to basics to understand your current audience. Who are they? What information are they interested in? How do they like to be engaged? What channels and platforms are they most active on?

  3. Understand your channels and sources for owned + curated content. 
    Hopefully, you’re already leveraging a mix of Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned (PESO) media in your PR and marketing mix (and for more info about the PESO model, check out our blog post about that very topic). Just like marketers should leverage a variety of channels, a quality content marketing strategy will utilize a combination of owned and curated content. 

    Owned content sources: website, blog posts, social media posts, white papers, case studies, e-books, marketing collateral, images, videos or anything you create yourself 

    Curated content sources: traditional media, bloggers, influencers, trade publications, customer reviews or any outside source that posts content relevant to your audience 

  4. Have a plan.
    Content marketing shouldn’t happen on the fly. While you’ll need some flexibility to accommodate in-the-moment activities and topics people are buzzing about, having a planned content calendar will help you stay organized and know what types of content to create, curate and share. This calendar should include your channels, type of content, copy, creative, date/time for publishing and any relevant links or hashtags. 

  5. Learn as you go.
    As you execute and follow your plan, remember it’s OK to make adjustments in real time based on the results and performance you are seeing. The important thing is as you test content to learn and adjust quickly.  
    Get more tips about content curation here.

One of the hardest parts about content marketing is the ongoing need for quality content. But with careful planning and leveraging the right mix of owned and curated content, marketers can achieve that steady stream of information needed to keep customers interested, engaged and coming back for more. 

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