There are two types of content.
The first kind is ephemeral.
It’s the top five reasons why/how (insert generic problem here) your (insert circumstance here) can/are/will (insert solution here).
If that’s the type of content you like to write (or read), you can stop here because the rest of this article isn’t for you. If you want to borrow the formula above for your work, it’s free to use.
Lists are formulaic. Trendy content has the potential to be cliché and shallow. It’s content you find when you are searching for a solution to a problem. It’s content that is often written without a unique perspective, so it does little to differentiate the author.
Once you find the trendy content you read it and leave, rarely to return to where you found it. It is rarely satisfying to the soul, nor does it engage the mind. It may not captivate the reader for more than a few seconds. It provides a quick fix but doesn’t give the reader more incentive to trust your expertise. It lacks a completing perspective or a unique point of view.
The second type of content is perennial.
It is content that engages you, inspires you, and motivates you. You read it and return to it; you download and print it. You tape it to your wall or pin it up in your cubicle.
Perennial content changes the way you think and transforms you. It causes you to take action. It persuades you to believe in something new.
Perennial content challenges you to agree or disagree with the point of view of the writer.
Which content would you rather read? What type would you rather write?
Which would you rather spend your time promoting? Which do you think will make a bigger difference in your marketing?
Why does it matter? What makes this perspective a game changer?
Timeless content maintains its relevancy over time; trendy content grows stale. Timeless content published intentionally over time will yield more leads and interest in your ideas than trendy content.
Still with me? Great! Here’s how you turn trendy lists into timeless content:
Create with the End in Mind
- Write for an audience of one. The more focused your writing, the greater clarity your audience will receive when they experience your work. Write about what matters to the people who are like you.
- Focus on creating a platform, supported by a framework of ideas. The content you create should be the thread that creates coherence for your framework of ideas.
- Create content for a community of learners, make certain it’s consistent with your framework, and re-purpose for your platform. For example, an article I wrote about a model for an approach to marketing campaigns and marketing communication plans was repurposed as a webinar. The webinar content was repurposed as a white paper, with free and professional versions (that included worksheets available in the fee-based version). The webinar and white paper will be part of an online training course. The training course is a key component of amplifying Aespire’s creative approach and a long-term revenue strategy.
The focus is the platform; the content weaves the components of the framework together.
BeSmart About How You Promote Your Content
- Pursue opportunities with influencer platforms to distribute your content. Why do you think content creators pitch to platforms like com, Forbes.com, and others? If your pitch is accepted, your content will receive validation and exposure to a wider audience.
- Give your ideas away. Marty Neumeier started a series of articles to support his series of books on branding called, “Steal This Idea.” Seth Godin encourages his readers to be generous—with the goal of getting ideas to spread. Aespire’s Cause Manifesto poster is given away for free dozens of times every month to visitors from around the world—who then become a member of a year-long marketing automation lead-generation campaign that drives business leads and book sales.
- Pay attention to your analytics. After we implemented our marketing automation platform, our visitor analytics revealed hundreds of visits weekly from everywhere in the world to one article on our website. We’ve enhanced the content with exit overlays and additional calls-to-action that are relevant to “The Difference Between Your Purpose and Mission.”
- Refresh your existing content and re-promote. Analytics show you which articles are most popular and relevant. Review those articles occasionally and add relevant links to supporting content, update the content as your thinking and processes evolve, and study how people find the articles to improve their optimization.
What difference does it make?
- New insights: Timeless content that aligns with your expertise, thought leadership perspective, and audience’s interests will generate more organic traffic consistently over time than the content promotion of trendy articles.
- Strategic approach to content planning:Trendy content may be relevant to your content strategy, but be sure to research ideas of a timeless and universal appeal and write to support those themes.
- New leads: Aespire’s drip marketing campaigns have helped position the agency as a recognized thought leader and subject matter expert. Over time, the approach has yielded new business, invitations to write and collaborate, and opportunities to speak.
Do you see the strategy in this approach? Instead of simply creating content, it allows you to develop a framework of ideas and insights which builds a platform that supports a movement of people who will find your ideas meaningful to them over time.
The long drip is the content marketing trend that will outlast them all unless you can think of three ideas why trendy content generates more leads for content marketers.