What Makes Content Effective?
Like all marketing efforts, Content Marketing has one ultimate goal — to produce new customers or clients. That’s a given. However, HOW content achieves this goal is a different story. In fact, there is no one magic recipe for creating effective content that sells. That’s actually what makes Content Marketers’ jobs so much stinkin’ fun! Content has to be as unique as the company we’re marketing for.
Hence why I love asking this question of marketers: “What Makes Content Effective?” The response is either a Scooby-Do look of confusion or an emphatic answer that sparks a debate, battle cry or both.
I recently asked members of AMA Tampa Bay to complete the sentence below and put some ideas out there to get things started. The result? A great discussion and some terrific answers!
CHIME IN: Complete this phrase in 3 words or less:
“Effective web content…”
- …solves a problem
- …evokes emotion
- …incites action
- …informs, mobilizes, connects and unifies (Eric Sturm)
- …connects and awakens (Ken Donaldson)
- …brightens and motivates (Jay Roth)
- …keeps it simple (Andrew Rappa)
- …builds relationships and sales (Susan Follick)
- …is the only kind we should ever see (Bill Ziff-Levine)
Okay, okay, Bill went over three words…but we couldn’t bring ourselves to eliminate such an awesome answer!
- …stimulates thought (Jay Roth)
- …generates interest (Jay Roth)
- …reinforces image (Jay Roth)
- …helps build identity (Jay Roth)
- …opens doors, removes barriers (Jay Roth)
- …requires no words (Andrew Rappa) (video content, that is — good point, Andrew!)
- …creates raving fans (Ashley Ray)
- …leaves them begging for more (Kathy Pabst Robshaw)
- …engages customers (Scott Huetteman)
- …fuels passion, instills trust, engages (Tracy Blalock)
- …engages, educates, enlightens (Dave Yee)
- …is brief (Tim Staney)
- …influences key influencers (Crystal Fischer)
- …builds customer loyalty (Charles Visalli)
- …builds interaction efficiently (Dan FitzSimons)
- …is addictive – like a drug (James Johannessen)
Don’t hold back!
3 words or less! — “Effective web content…”
…sparks an idea, makes you think, or leads to action. Of course I like the one by Ashley Ray, creates raving fans.
Oh! “Sparks an idea.” Love that! Sometimes the best way to gain a lead or sale from content is to arm the reader with enough info to come up with the way your product or service can benefit them. Nice, Marie!
…demonstrates thought leadership, shows customer understanding/kinship. Tough with so many great ones already on the list: solves a problem; informs, mobilizes, connects; builds relationships, removes barriers, is addictive.
Thoughts that make sense and comes out of box, imagination that acts as inception, creating an environment in writing with references that make the reader feel like s/he is the part of the content.
Thanks Aansy. Interesting note: “references that make the reader feel like s/he is the part of the content” — that’s a need addition!
That is so true Deana.
As an author and business man, I can relate to how you
said “Like all marketing efforts, Content Marketing has
one ultimate goal — to produce new customers or clients. That’s a
given. However, HOW content achieves this goal is a different story. In
fact, there is no one magic recipe for creating effective content that
sells. That’s actually what makes Content Marketers’ jobs so much
I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you’re talking about.
Can’t wait to read more from you!
Thanks for the kind words, Daniel. Thanks for stopping by!
If you are selling false noses, don’t spend your time telling the visitor about the history of nasal appendages, put the sales copy at the top of the page so it’s the first thing a visitor sees when they land on that page.
Present your key information as soon as possible on the page.
Thanks for stopping by Quantum! I DO agree that the history of nasal appendages would be a snore fest (no pun intended). However, I do NOT agree with putting sales copy at the “top” of online content — unless it’s simply a call to action page. Customers — especially those in the B2B realm — are looking for help to solve their problems and help in making decisions that will better their business or professional standing. Sales copy simply does not achieve this.