Is Content Really King?

"ContentContent is King, but as with
any King it doesn't mean much unless you have a kingdom. In other words,
content reigns supreme but by itself it doesn't mean much. That's why I wrote
about intent and audience in my earlier posts about getting your message out
there. Content is exceptionally important but a great message is useless if
it does not provide the intended material and if the message does not reach the
right audience.

Your intent as well as knowing your
audience informs the content that you create. You write based upon your intention
and you write for
your audience. The content is not merely based in the expected outcome– it is
strongly influenced by the crafted effectiveness of the message. So then, what
does it take to create an effective message?

Attention
Grabbing

Flashy
colors, animation and stunning promises do grab attention but unless you
are selling seats to a circus you are better off not going there. In this era of virtual communications you want your recipients to open your messages and to click on links. Begin with your subject line– pose a provocative question, propose a call to action or highlight the sort of condition that the following content will benefit. If they don't get beyond the envelope it's over. Once they do get beyond the subject line, make sure you keep their attention. In no particular order of priority consider these things: 

Believable

It may surprise you to know but today's consumers are not STUPID! If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. So when you tell me that if I sign up today I will be entitled to free gifts (valued at some eye-popping amount) you better think again. I know as well as you do that nobody in their right state of mind is going to give away freebies that exceed the value of the purchase by some 100-1000%. If your message lacks credibility, no matter how incredulous (and enticing) it might seem are you really attracting the sort of customers you want?

Boring, NOT!!

The last thing you want is to lose a customer because your message is long-winded, fails to state its intent or filled with dribble that is either technical or incidental in nature. You got them to open the message, now make it easy for them to read it and to take the next steps to make it happen.

Fulfills
a Need

Last but not least, make sure that the message was written for the recipient. They are the ones with the pain, the challenge, the need. You are the one that can alleviate the pain, resolve the challenge and fulfill the need. This is the crux of your message, the Holy Grail. Write your message as if you were seeking the very assistance or product you have to offer. Make it clear to your recipient that you understand what they are looking for and that you are here for them. 

Yes, content is King but in order to rise to the throne, vision and planning are needed. The best place to begin is to know your intent and your audience.

I wish you well with getting your message heard.

 


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4 responses on “Is Content Really King?

  1. Nancy Thomas says:

    Yes! You can have the best content, but if it is a tree falling in the woods, and no one is listening, then what have you really accomplished? So – first get their attention, then you can speak to be heard.

  2. Indeed Nancy, ask to be heard then be sure to make it worth my while to listen.

  3. Jim Van says:

    Absolutely spot on, Ed. As exemplified by Hubspot (http://www.hubspot.com), giving away content (fulfilling a need) is critical to business success in this online world…and it needs to be well-written AND have a certain amount of pizzazz to make it stand out among all the noise.
    The points you make about audience, though, are often overlooked by authors, who really need to put thought into just who they are targeting. It's a key element in developing an inbound marketing plan, and too often not considered…

  4. I appreciate your concurrence Jim. The concept of planning may seem old and boring but you have to admit, it does pay off.

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