Internet Marketing Weekly: What is “great content,” and how do I market it?

Success is closer than you think

Success is closer than you think.

If you’ve developed a schedule and system for blog posts, and posting what you believe is great content (helpful, informative, actionable, and optimized for search), and still find the traffic and follow though by readers to be lacking, then what’s next?

Lets take a very brief moment to mention one thing that works time and again for both large and small businesses in acquiring customers: Inbound Marketing! The definition of Inbound Marketing is: “Any tactic that relies on earning people’s interest rather than buying it.” Earning people’s interest creates a kind of ripple effect both in how they share information about you (you being your business), and what effects the sharing has on your business.

So back to your blog. If we keep in the back of our minds that the goal is to earn people’s interest, then top quality content (helpful, informative, actionable, and optimized for search) should be uppermost in your mind when researching, composing editing that finally publishing your blog posts. Let’s look at what it takes to create great content.

Let’s Define “Great”

Below are 4 general themes that are usually present in great content. Your content should match up to at least one.

Great Content Takes Effort to Create:

You don’t necessarily have to pay anything for great content, but you do have to invest via time and effort through excellent research, good editing and graphics that support your writing. Your readers respect the time and effort a quality blog post took to create. By writing great content you demonstrate that you respect your readers.

Great Content Is Credible:

Years of experience in your industry, in your location, and in what you love to do will shine through in your blog posts. Never underestimate the value of your own experience, even if you think the topic or subject matter may not be interesting. If you infuse your writing with examples based upon your experience and knowledge, your content will be viewed as credible.

People Want to Share Great Content:

We all know this to be true because we ourselves feel moved to share what we find, when it is useful, moving, funny or informative. One way to tell if your own content passes the “Share-O-Meter” test is notice whether you’re excited to click the “publish” button, or just glad you got through that post.

Great Content Can Be Acted Upon:

Each and every post should contain a useful take-way, something that the reader can do, to enhance their lives. I know that sounds big, but even a tip like adding crystallized ginger to the cranberry scone recipe may be a culinary twist so profound, that a reader takes the baking prize at the next county fair! When you give readers useful information that they can put into action, they will remember your content.

Ok, now we know what defines “Great Content” so lets move on to step two, marketing!

Marketing Your Great Content:

Just because you’ve written great content, does not mean that people will find it on their own. You’ve actually got to get out there and share it. This is content marketing, and it is the second half of this bullet-proof plan to wield the primary tenant of Inbound Marketing (Oy, so many marketing terms!), namely “Earning People’s Interest.”

So we’re going to hit the virtual pavement and start peddling that blog post in three steps.

Timing Is Everything:

Plan to publish your post at a time and day when your target audience is most likely to see it. (Yes, this relies, to some extent, on understanding who your audience is, but it also involves knowing who you what your audience to be, so you’ll need to define that as well).

Reach Out:

If you’ve written a post that has you excited about clicking the “publish” button, then by all means, once you publish, send the link to friends, colleagues, in your e-newsletter, on your Facebook Wall (Fan Page and Personal Profile when appropriate), tweet it, include it in an outgoing email to a guest who’s booked a stay this weekend. Build the road that gets people to your post.

Link to a Promotion:

Could it be that your post has an incentive component you could whip up to compliment the content? Could you bring in a guest blogger to spin a post off the one you just published as a follow on piece? Remember that here we’re talking about links to links, and the way your great content can spiral outward to reach not only more people, but also new markets and demographics.

Greatness Is a Process

In a world where we often expect instant success for an earnest effort, keep in mind that even on the internet, things can take time to reveal themselves. Don’t be disheartened if your great content isn’t going viral overnight, or even in a week.
Because of one well placed link or share, (or any number of other factors) your post could go from tepid to hot if the content is truly great.
And take heart, because even in the event of a seemingly flat response to your post, it was a success because you learned from what you did, and you can build upon it for the next great piece.


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