On the Internet, content is continuously being curated, and not always with the best of intentions. SEOs, content marketers and bloggers alike are trying to get their content in front of as many eyes as possible. The rise of “inbound marketing” and the need for “quality content” has turned the Internet into a content rat race. Who can produce the best, most evergreen piece of content that drives traffic and conversions the fastest? This surge in content creation has caused what some call content shock — the shock coming from the fact that brands, marketers, and bloggers are creating so much content that it’s more overwhelming than helpful to consumers.
How can you stand out from the crowd and avoid contributing to this content shock? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you create content.
Whom are you writing for?
If you find yourself writing a piece of content solely based on promoting a new product or as a self-serving piece of your brand, scrap it. While it’s important to have product knowledge and brand awareness readily available to consumers, don’t bulk up your blog with them. Consider keeping those resources as part of on-page content for your site. Instead, write with the end user in mind. Writing for any other reason than to offer something of value to consumers is not only a waste of time, but is a disservice to your brand and your customers.
Are you solving a problem?
Consumers should need your solutions. Are you solving a real user problem or are you inventing one? Content is far from great if there is no use for it. Not all great content will answer a problem directly related to your products, but it will create a utility that your consumers can’t ignore. Instead of writing to sell a product, write to solve a problem.
Are you recycling old ideas?
Solving a problem sounds easy enough, right? Chances are if there’s a problem worth solving, someone’s probably tried to fix it. Do your due diligence when forming a content concept and check to see what other type of similar content already exists. There’s no point recycling ideas that have been covered time and time again. Find a new approach or a new way of solving the problem. Make sure you’re offering something new.
Are you thinking outside of the box?
No two pieces of great content look alike. Don’t expect to follow one simple formulaic process to create outstanding, head-turning content. Consider stepping outside your comfort zone to create something fun and interesting that your consumers will love.
Great content isn’t just words; it can come in the form of a social message, video, graphic or even an app. When creating utility for your consumers, the sky is the limit. The only limitations you have in creating amazing content are those you place on yourself.
Are you focusing on quality, not quantity?
Part of the reason we’re facing content shock is the sheer deluge of content that is slung up daily onto the Internet. Bloggers feel they have to post constantly, brands need to stay ahead of their competitors and marketers need new, fresh content to keep their clients relevant. But who made the rule that we have to throw up content constantly to stay ahead of the curve? Producing one piece of content that is truly high-quality and serves a purpose will keep you more relevant than if you are producing run-of-the-mill content every day.
With the rise of online consumption, content shock will only get worse as businesses try to stay relevant to their customers. Avoid adding to the oversaturated marketplace by asking yourself the above questions when you’re working on a new content concept. Becoming a utility to your consumers will position you as a thought leader in your space and draw new eyes to your content regularly.
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