The Anatomy of Optimal Marketing Content

This is a great starting point for developing corporate blog content. Adjust based on your needs, but this will help you get up and running.

Should you sell? Should you educate? When it comes to content marketing, everyone has an opinion – including the people who read it! What you need to do is figure out the right mix of information and pitching in order to turn your efforts into a return on investment (ROI).

There’s no silver bullet in content marketing. Different markets (and companies) have different needs – obviously. Getting started, however, can be tough. When faced with a content marketing tabula rasa, how do you decide your first move?

As you deal with the anxieties of over-selling and underperforming, keep the following tips in mind. They are broadly applicable and help you get out of the gate strong.

1. Clickable headlines: it all starts with getting the prospect to consume your content. Tweets, Facebook status updates and blog post headlines should be written to engage and draw people in. if visitors don’t visit, your thoughts simply waste (cheap) storage space on servers. And they certainly don’t drive ROI.

2. Information: yes, you should say something worth saying. Give people a reason to view your company as a trusted source, even though you are in the business of … being in business. Address the pain points your clients and prospects face.

3. Data, data, data: provide a chart or statistic that people want. Everyone needs data, and scorecards are popular. Play to that. Give your market (directly) the sort of data that would make major media outlets salivate. When I ran the content marketing operation for a global financial services company a few years ago, I did this. It worked wonders.

4. Solve the problem: after you present a client/prospect pain point and quantify it (#2 and #3, above), the next step is to show how your company can help. Draw a straight line – make it easy. You don’t have to be aggressive, but you do need to be clear that your company is the answer.

5. Inspire: specifically, inspire action. Provide a clear, direct call to action that will bring prospects into your sales cycle Turn eyeballs into inquiries, and your sales force will take it from there.

Don’t be afraid of revenue! Too often in this space, marketers are afraid of losing their authenticity, which the prize, through action, more than top-line results. This is foolish. We exist to stimulate demand, and that’s exactly what our content should do.

Use the tips above t craft content that you can use to market your company effectively. Measure the results, and make modifications based on your analytics and feedback from your target market. This is the only way to truly turn your efforts into ROI.

“Marketing” is fast becoming a dirty word in the social media space, which is an absolute shame. The difference between managing communities and generating tangible ROI is what will determine which companies lead the market. After all, your brand is worthless if nobody is taking action on it.