content strategy great content
Lately, I’ve been noticing that many firms, copywriters and Tweeters are talking about creating great content.
  • “We need to create great content for our #contentstrategy.”
  • “Our content sings—it’s the most important part of our content strategy.”
  • “I craft great content that will fit in with your content strategy.”

Uh huh.

What makes your content great?

There is only one answer to this timeless question—get ready for it:

“YOUR CONTENT IS GREAT IF YOUR USERS FIND IT USEFUL, PERSUASIVE AND VALUABLE.”

I’m all for beautiful words—poetry even. But, great content delivered online means answering users’ questions, so they can get back to creating the content of their lives. (See—me write pretty too!)

How do you create great content?

First, you must define what great content is. Doing this is impossible. See a high school English class for an example; one student LOVES The Scarlet Letter. The other thinks it’s complete dreck. (For more current examples, see: The Jersey Shore, Dancing with the Stars, Eat, Pray, Love, Coldplay, etc…) Listen to people argue about books, music, photography, art, science, philosophy. Those are all examples of content that can deeply divide people.

People disagree on greatness; what they don’t disagree about is what they find useful. For example, most people own a car (I am making no political statements here). Most people do not own a horse and buggy. Why? Simply put, a car is more efficient than a horse and buggy. Is a car greater than a horse and buggy? Well—what are you using it for? A romantic marriage proposal in Central Park? Or, to travel from Boston to New York?

Brings me to my point—you must define WHO your users are and what they are using the content for if you want to create persuasive, valuable content.

What do they care about? What will help them get the information, commodity, interaction that they need? Answering those questions will go a long way toward creating content they find useful.  And useful content to your users could be anything under the sun: a funny YouTube video to forward to a friend, a recipe, a picture for their bathroom, a blog post that sparks an idea.

So:

To create useful, persuasive and valuable content you must:

  1. Define your users.
  2. Anticipate their questions and needs.
  3. Write copy that answers those questions directly.
  4. Create easy pathways toward the call to action.

You can also read:
Creating engaging content and How to measure the effectiveness of web content. Enjoy!

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