Doo doo doo-doo-doo doo doo doo…
Dust off your most unabashedly flamboyant outfit and don the iconic Ziggy Stardust face paint, as, today, we’re embracing our inner Bowie.
No, we’re not off searching for Life On Mars or a Starman in the sky. Instead, we’re unleashing our inner Rebel Rebel.
In the world of content marketing, we believe some rules are made to be broken - so we’re showing you how!
Of course, content rules can be a valuable way of ensuring best practice across all of the content you produce.
But when it comes to successful content marketing, one size never fits all - meaning the rules don’t always apply.
With this in mind, here are 4 content marketing rules… and how to break them!
Stick to the template
Templates can be handy tools to have in your arsenal as a content creator.
Whether it’s a tried and tested page layout or a trusty sentence structure, formulas and templates can be super useful for those creating web copy, emails and more.
So, what’s the issue?
Templates ultimately focus on one thing: efficiency. And while efficiency is, of course, a quality sought after by content writers past, present and future, it should never be the primary aim.
In short? Quality should never be knocked off its pedestal as the most important element of your content.
So, dare to loosen the chains every now and then, making some ch, ch, ch, changes to stray from your usual methods and formats if the content demands it.
A good way of understanding when it’s time to ditch the templates is through studying your engagement data.
If session times, click-through rates or social shares (to name just a few of the relevant metrics) are down, ask yourself ‘why?’ and make the relevant adjustments. These may include alterations to your layout approach, content length or imagery, for example.
In such a rapidly evolving digital landscape, what worked once may not work anymore - meaning data should always reign supreme over templates.
Ultimately, it’s about putting your audience first - ensuring the content conveys maximum value as effectively as possible.
Copy what’s worked
Ever seen a campaign or piece of content and thought, ‘damn, I wish I’d thought of that’?
In these instances, it can be tempting to emulate what you’ve seen elsewhere - after all, that campaign or content worked, so why wouldn’t yours?
But this can be a dangerous rule to follow.
Remember: good content is all about authenticity and value - but what’s authentic and valuable to one audience isn’t necessarily authentic and valuable to another.
Blindly copying approaches you’ve seen elsewhere is almost guaranteed to impact the quality and, in turn, the value of your content.
But that’s easier said than done, right?
And sure, it can be. The trick here is to ask yourself why that campaign worked for that particular audience - how did the approach align itself with the values of its target market?
With this in mind, don’t be afraid to pay less attention to what All The Young Dudes are doing - instead making up your rules and content approaches based on what’s right for you.
To do this successfully, never underestimate the power of audience research. Get to know the ins and outs of your audience through data, then get creative by aligning your content approaches with your findings.
Avoid long content
Sometimes, long-form content doesn’t get a lot of Modern Love.
But we reject the idea that readers don’t want to consume long content or have too short an attention span to stay engaged.
Again, this ultimately comes down to the quality of content. Write engaging long-form content and your readers will be, well, engaged!
Long-form content can boast a whole host of SEO advantages when applied with the right know-how, too, meaning short-form content isn’t just potentially neglecting your readers - it could also be neglecting search engines.
So, ignore the long-form content sceptics and indulge in in-depth explorations of topics when the content demands it.
The key here is to be the best in your space, offering more thorough and user-friendly insights on your topic than are available anywhere else. Do this successfully, and you’ll have created the only go-to resource users need.
Content creators can often be put Under Pressure to publish content frequently.
But when it comes to successful content marketing, quality should always be prioritised over quantity.
Of course, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t publish frequently if you’re able to. It’s more about ensuring that the quality of your content doesn’t suffer in the pursuit of frequency. Two high-value, well-targeted blog posts will drive better results than four low-quality blog posts.
So, create the content your audience is hungry for with the care and attention it deserves, as opposed to sticking to a predetermined quantity based on a consistent publishing schedule.
Once more, we return to the importance of understanding your audience to get this right. When conducting your audience research, utilise the available data to inspire topic maps, keyword clusters and content calendars of topics, angles and ideas relevant to your audience.
This will ensure you not only have a library of content ideas at your disposal, but a library of content ideas that carry genuine value by addressing the wants and needs of your audience.
When it comes to successful content marketing, some rules are made to be broken. It’s about understanding which rules you need to break (and when) by first getting to know your audience and their needs.
Get this right, and you’ll create high-quality content that drives the results you want to see today, tomorrow and in Five Years’ time...
Want purpose-driven content that breaks the right rules at the right time? Luckily, you don’t need to dial in to Major Tom - just drop us a message.