There’s a black hole of bad content out there. Are you one of the ones shouting into the void?
“Content is king.” your boss screams at you as you tap away at your keyboard, fingers bleeding and eyes shrivelled from staring unblinkingly at your computer screen for hours on end.
“I need another blog post and I need it done yesterday,” they demand.
You ask them what the blog should be about. Maybe you really take a risk and dare to ask what benefit this blog post is supposed to have for your target audience.
“Who cares what it’s about? Just write something. Content is king don’t you know.” they reply.
“Oh, and make sure it’s over 2000 words and stuffed full of keywords. We’ve got to get this sh*t ranking. And this time, I want you to get me that featured snippet.”
The last vestiges of creativity draining from your body, you turn back to the keyboard. Once again, you begin the process of rehashing a piece of content you saw on someone else’s blog, searching desperately for your own angle.
OK, that’s quite an extreme scenario, I’ll admit.
But, judging by the mountain of naff content getting pumped out day after day, it can’t be too far from the truth.
Currently, 58% of the content available to customers is not meaningful. It holds little lasting value and doesn’t improve the reader’s life in any way.
The fixation on producing post after post, with a focus on SEO and site rankings rather than audiences and conversions, has led to brands pumping out meaningless content with no consideration of the reader.
And, if your content has no lasting impact on customers, what’s the point in producing it?
Rather than shouting into the void, that dark place where naff content goes to die, meaningful content should be the way forward.
Produce less to gain more
There’s a black hole of bad brand content out there at the moment.
Filled with pointless hot takes on trending topics and boring blog posts that have been written just for the sake of writing them.
When you produce more of the same for your business, you’re just joining the chorus of brands shouting into the void.
Rolling out blog post after blog post just because it’s what everyone else is doing and all the marketing guides tell you that ‘content is king’, is pointless if it’s not adding to the customer experience.
And, as well as it doing little to serve your audience, it does nothing to serve you and your brand.
You’re not an international newsroom with an army of writers at hand to produce quality content 24/7.
More likely, you’ve got a team of one or two marketers, copywriters or content creators that are working across all of your brand communications.
Expecting them to publish a 2000 word blog post every day and for that content to be high quality, informative and working towards your brand’s KPIs is, to be honest, unrealistic.
Content for the sake of content doesn’t do anyone any good.
And pushing content just because you think it’s an easy way to shove in a load of keywords and get your site ranking on the first page of the search engines isn’t the right attitude.
Producing less content, but having that content be high-quality and laser-focused on your audience’s intent will help your content marketing strategy to be more effective.
Your content should inform not echo the words of hundreds of other posts. Your blogs should entertain not bore with lacklustre, rushed writing. Your writing should solve a problem for the reader not ramble for 2000 words without making a point.
All these things make your content meaningful, improve the reader’s life, add value to your site and grow your brand authority.
So, how can you produce meaningful content that enhances the customer experience and works towards growing your brand’s authority?
Make the move to meaningful content
A study by Havas describes meaningful content as content that ‘inspires meaningful connections between people and brands to generate business results’.
Which roughly translates into ‘give people what they want (i.e. content that helps them to solve a problem) and they’ll be more likely to buy from you or use your services’.
Meaningful content serves a purpose. It fulfils a role and enhances the consumer’s life in some way. It’s memorable, useful and actually enjoyable to read.
The key with meaningful content is that the goal of selling a product or service becomes secondary to providing content that is high-quality, engaging and useful to the reader.
When you provide meaningful content without a heavyhanded sales approach, you establish your brand as a useful, life-enhancing resource for your audience.
Meaning that, when they are ready to commit to a purchase or engage the services that your brand provides, you’ll be familiar to them and seen as an authoritative, trustworthy brand to engage with.
A brand that benefits and enhances the consumer’s life.
The 6 roles of meaningful content
As a digital marketing agency, we see so often how overhauling a content marketing strategy to focus on producing meaningful content can seem like a daunting concept to clients.
But, if you’re already regularly posting blog posts and brand communications, adjusting your approach to make your content more meaningful should be more of a small step than a giant leap.
And, to help make your content more meaningful, the Havas study outlined six features of meaningful content. A single piece of content doesn’t need to do all these things at once, but it should at least hit a couple of these points.
Meaningful content should:
This is where you can show off your expert industry knowledge. What are some common questions people have about your product or service? Exploring and answering these in detail in a blog post or other brand communication will produce a meaningful piece of content for audiences.
You know who your target audience is; their interests, their likes and dislikes, where they shop, what their education is. Which means you can produce meaningful content which entertains and is informed by and caters to your audience’s interests.
‘How-to’ guides are a staple of brand content marketing. But do your guides actually provide value to your reader? Or have 20 other companies already published a ‘how-to’ on the same topic? Create meaningful, helpful content for your audience by providing unique insights and tips that capitalise on your brand perspective and knowledge.
Similarly to content that educates and helps, meaningful content that informs will contain your brand’s unique insights and knowledge. Publishing meaningful, informative content could look like blog posts that explore the history of your brand or origins of the materials used in your products.
Creating meaningful content which promotes action and engagement starts with inspiring the reader. Meaningful content inspires them to read on. It inspires them to take action. It can inspire them to make a purchase or engage with your services. To create inspiring content you need to know your audience’s needs and desires and craft content around these topics.
This is where your content can provide tangible benefits to your audience. This reward could come in many forms such as, a discount, exclusive insights or information that only your brand can provide.
All of these features of meaningful content have two things in common; sharing information and insights that are unique to your brand, and keeping a laser focus on satisfying the audience’s needs.
Content that is produced with these things in mind actively works to benefit the consumer in a way that establishes your brand as a trusted authority in your sector.
And, as we’ve already said, when you create meaningful content that benefits the consumer, they will be more inclined to convert into customers.
Because a brand that adds value to an audience’s life will gain their trust. Meaning that, ultimately, when they’re ready to commit, you’ll be the brand they choose.