Whether it’s an actual object, a service, or a message, marketing anything requires content. It could be a video, blog, or social media post — whatever it is, that content product needs to sell a story that your target audience will buy into. If you really want to convince them, you need to understand the ins and outs of the content product you are selling intimately. Read on to find out how this drives the kind of quality content in 2020 that wins over audiences and drive conversion.
Skip The Fluff And Deliver Concrete Facts
Whatever object, service, or message you are marketing, you can’t sell it without knowing it yourself. If you are trying to convince someone to buy a piece of furniture—say, a couch—they will want to know how big it is, what color it is, how much it weighs, and what material the upholstery is made of. Nobody is going to invest in a piece of furniture blindly; the same is true for any object, service, or message. Content creators are salesmen and they can’t succeed if it’s the blind leading the blind.
When creating a content product, think of what you would want to know as a consumer or client. Write down a full list of questions and make sure you can answer every single one of them—before you even start writing any copy. If you start by trying to create catchy SEO headlines and meta descriptions, you will end up with fluff, not facts. This can result in (very likely) useless and (potentially) even misleading content, which is the last thing you want.
Conjure Compelling Storytelling Rich In Detail
Storytelling has become the acknowledged benchmark of choice for top quality content in 2020. Details are what makes a story rich. Take a globally celebrated character like Harry Potter, for example. The boy wizard is recognized everywhere from India to Indiana precisely because of two small but significant details that author J.K. Rowling chose to incorporate: a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead and his signature round glasses. Without these two aspects, Harry Potter could be mistaken for any number of brown-haired kids.
Pinpoint those one-of-a-kind attributes that set apart the object, service, or message your content is meant to promote. This means getting to know the item intimately. Successful startups speak to this hands-on mentality: Professionals like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates started by doing it all themselves and in doing so, developed a richly detailed vision of what they wanted to put out into the world. It was such detail that allowed them to ultimately sell their vision as a story worth buying.
Encourage A Personal Bond With The Client
When constructing quality content in 2020, think as a business owner instead of a content marketer. As Carlos Abler, leader of content marketing strategy, 3M, puts it: “Businesses have taken up the charge to become publishers. What content marketers are failing at is innovation. They must become masters of the art of identifying how a content product will make such a difference in people’s lives that they will bond to it as a product …” This bonding aspect is further solidified when you manage to educate your audience, exposing them to something new.
Content that encourages en emotional response is a prime example. Consider videos that make people laugh or cry, and that they come back to again and again (and share with friends and family). These are the types of content products that Abler is referring to. It is intimate storytelling that moves and challenges people, and allows them to bond with the object, service, or message they are being confronted with.
Embrace An Innovative Line Of Thinking
Content marketing often falls into the pit of being obsessed with rank: Algorithms and keywords dominate the day instead of what clients and customers actually want to know. Instead of worrying about the rules when crafting quality content in 2020, pursue a business leader’s line of thinking and embrace innovation. In the future the rules content marketers currently strive to work by will only be a drawback. It’s not strict adherence to rigid guidelines but originality that will win the day.
Abler encourages this approach: “The design thinking underlying social innovation supplies exactly what content marketers are missing. And as an industry, we are utterly blurry on how to do this. We are still too caught up in how to write better headlines, how to work with SEO, how to work with various formats of content, and many other table stakes aspects of content than about what the product is supposed to be in the first place.”
Bring The Focus Back To The Product
This last line of Abler’s reiterates what quality content in 2020 will be all about: the product. What is the product supposed to be in the first place? This is the question that will drive content creation in the years to come. Instead of always looking outwards, it’s time to look inwards and consider the product and its innate worth: What is the value there and how can this best be presented to others? This is the question to consider at the start of every project.
Circling back, this all starts with understanding the product intimately from the get-go. Before it can be presented in its best light to another person, it has to be fully understood by you, the creator. When you start by paying attention to the product as the root, you are unlikely to go wrong. The object, service, or message you are selling will gain strength when backed by legitimate knowledge.
Creating Quality Content Means Knowing Your Product No fluff, just facts. No wishy-washy wording, just sharply drawn details. No ambiguous stories, just captivating tales. No tenuous connections, just true bonds. No cookie-cutter content, just innovative and original work. All of this is possible when the heart of the work is found in the product itself. This is what quality content in 2020 looks like and this is what we should aspire to when we create it.