As all marketing and SEO experts know, creating great content is the pillar of any successful online marketing strategy. Whether you are working on a franchise, a brick-and-mortar business, or a blog, if you don't provide engaging articles, you just can't grow online. But how to create a great post? Here's what Craig Faulkner had to say.
As the CEO of a Content Marketing company FMG Suite, I get asked a lot about what makes great content. There are a lot of answers I could give, but I find the best answer is a single word: Insight.
What exactly is Insight? We like to use this definition from WIB Beveridge in his book The Art of Scientific Investigation.
“Insight is linking up ideas whose connection was not previously suspected.”
It’s this connection between previously unseen forces that creates inspiration and it’s inspiration that creates action.
Now don’t get nervous. We have put a lot of pressure on the word “insight.” When you think of insights, you might be thinking that they only come from experts or specialists. But every person can have an insight — and once they do, they can create amazing value-driven content.
I love this quote from Steve Jobs:
“Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact: everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.”
To help you better create value for your prospects and clients, I’d like to present you with three models of content that will help you capture your very own insights:
One of the easiest forms of insights is simply commenting on another piece of content. Due to the structure of social networking, the way we are accustomed to seeing this type of content is simply a comment printed above a selection from another piece with a link to the original.
We call this a skyscraper because you are basically building on top of someone else’s content. This helps you reach new heights.
Jason Keath, CEO of Social Fresh has a great article on when and how to use other people’s stories. To boil down some of his main points:
- Always Link
- Always Be Helping
- Always Know Your Limits
- Always Be Careful With Photos
- When in Doubt, Ask For Permission
This is my favorite form of content creation. It involves taking two different points of information and creating a connection between them. Do I have a good example? How about this article. When I started I only knew I wanted to write about content. So I began going through some of my recent writing and realized I had used these two quotes in different contexts. Now by connecting them into one piece and spending a little time creating a clear connection, I’ve created an insight for you. You’re welcome.
Here is a link to a whitepaper we wrote that has an ideation exercise where you can match your clients’ needs to top performing articles to create new insights: http://bit.ly/1pWuSD2
The most difficult of insight creation. An essay is really any piece of content that attempts to take three or more points of information and spin them into a narrative. The mistake most people make is to cram too much into a single piece. When creating an essay, I’d like to take you back to high school English where you learned the basic layout for an essay.
- The Hypothesis – The idea that you want people to believe. For it to be an effective hypothesis, it must be somewhat challenging. There must be a sense of “really?” or “no way!” when your reader understands your idea.
- The Support – The body of your content must give direct evidence to support the hypothesis.
- The Conclusion – Rather than just restating your initial point, use this part of your content to delve into the application of your insight. Lead the reader to take action once they are inspired by your new idea.
The insight you provide should be focused towards your marketing goal. In The Challenger Sale, they refer to this as a “Commercial Insight” or “Commercial Teaching.” It might seem obvious, but the value you provide needs to be focused enough to inspire your prospects and clients to take further action with you. Once you become practiced at creating these different types of content, you’ll be able to take the raw material of Internet content and repurpose it into a lead-generating, business-expanding enterprise.