Content Marketers: Don’t Work So Hard


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Nothing worth doing is easy’ is a simple truth that is often miss-interpreted. It’s advice designed to help people stay the course when a worthwhile endeavor starts to look impossible. Encouragement designed to make valuable work seem less daunting is not a blueprint for what valuable work should be.

That may seem like a pedantic clarification, but it’s a distinction content marketers often miss. When we sit down to create a useful piece of downloadable content, we know we have a responsibility to create something of value. We’re asking people to share personal contact information in exchange for this content so it must be ‘worth it’.

Which leads us to believe that it also must be difficult to create. The mistake is assuming that the amount of time spent working on a piece of content or volume of content is equivalent to value. Many marketers set out to write a useful whitepaper and end up trying to edit a mini-eBook. ‘But ‘, they tell themselves, ‘it’s packed with value.’

What’s The Value?

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The true value of a piece of content can’t really be measure in its volume or detail. The true value is measured in a completely different way; it’s measured in value to the reader.

That value can be easily quantified by asking the question, ‘what’s in it for me?’ When a reader finishes reading your whitepaper or watches a video, what will they have that they didn’t have before? That’s the value that your content offers. With huge pieces of detailed content, that question is often difficult to answer.

If you, as the author of the piece, can’t answer that question succinctly, how will your readers fare? Before they download a piece of content, prospects are promised value by a social share, an email or a landing page. If they have to look really hard to find that value, do you think they’ll come back to your brand for more? Will you be able to tell them that ‘nothing worthwhile is easy?’

Think About Conversion

In truth, users prefer direct content with a value that’s easy to identify. People like to get content that solves a problem or fills a particular need. That rarely means having to write pages and pages of content. Checklists, how to guides and fact sheets offer just as much value to a prospect as eBooks that provide similar information. And those ‘at a glance’ formats are far more inviting as downloads.

Which, after all, is the whole point of content marketing. It’s not creating the best piece of content your prospects have ever seen. It’s not developing engaging social presences and using content to create a rapport with your community. That’s all part of it, but the goal is conversion. In a B2B environment, the contact details shared at the point of download are invaluable.

Nothing Worthwhile….

Your content allows you to create a list of potential customers. It also helps you to define who those customers are. Content that is extremely specific in the value it offers will gather downloads from very specific prospects, who become better-qualified leads. If your content can do that effectively, it gives you a huge advantage. Checklists and how to guides are great at that job, but just because they’re short doesn’t mean they’re easy.

Identifying the kinds of content that can accurately reach out to the most qualified prospects and move them closer to conversion is an incredibly difficult task. It takes research, planning and great communication skills. But, in the end, for both you and your prospects, all that work will be worthwhile. Far more worthwhile than a mountain of content created simply because it seems like the appropriate amount of hard work.

Discover the rules of content and create that winning online material for your business with our free whitepaper on “Winning Content”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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