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7 Qualities of Effective Marketing Content

February 18, 2019    |     Lindsay Jawor

Digital marketing is now content marketing, and content is everywhere. From our newsfeeds to our inboxes, we're faced with a barrage of words on a daily basis. But certain elements of great content stand out from the rest, and we tend to read, enjoy, and remember those pieces of content the most.

Here's seven things we've found that boost engagement (and just make us happy):

  1. True Purpose - Every great piece of content we’ve encountered educates the reader. Great content creators must think of themselves as teachers, creating an effective learning plan for their audiences. But be wary of condescension—learn what your target market knows and teach them what they don’t know. Sometimes that means just explaining a new software or strategy, not directly marketing your product or service. It’s more worthwhile to become a trusted, valuable market resource in the long-term than to pitch your product in the short-term.

  2. judd_wishlistA Laugh - As marketers, we receive tons of emails every day. Some are newsletters we’ve signed up for, some are unsolicited cold emails from sales reps. But thing guarantees a buzz around the Advantage office from an email on any given day: humor. Whether it’s a well-placed gif in a newsletter or article, or a crazy picture of a sales rep trying to make their mark, the team at Advantage always shares the “good” emails. And while we may not immediately call the sales rep back or use the service we receive the newsletters from, we often remember the names of these witty senders when we need help down the line. Off to the left, you'll see one of our tireless Inside Sales reps reaching out to clients this past holiday season as proof.

  3. Wholeness - Effective content is accessible, in its entirety, and has a clear and simple path to reading. The best newsletters we receive (my personal favorite is the Quartzy newsletters) include long-form content that doesn’t require clicks or paywalls to access entire articles. It’s important to maintain educational content for audiences at large, not just create lead-gen pieces behind forms and tracking links. Yes, you risk the loss of a little data, but true brand trust is immeasurable. Having a few appropriate links sprinkled in a piece is the best recipe, allowing readers to make their own choices about what actions they take while consuming your content.

  4. Relevance - Know your brand voice. While it may be tempting to use breaking news, politics, or viral topics in your content, make sure that it matches the tone and message of your organization. Without a clear connection to your brand, you run the risk of generating worthless clickbait that damages your name. Make sure that your content always relates back to your message or mission. While we said above to be funny when possible, make sure that humor is always appropriate to your brand and your audience. Which brings us to the next key quality...

  5. Personalization - Content personalization is an amazing, automated way to make sure that your audience is receiving content that truly interests them. It takes some legwork, but generating and using data that reflects your target segment’s behaviors in the digital world can help you deliver the most relevant content to individual subscribers. Here at Advantage, we’ve made the newsletters for our five pillars personalized, which means that the content readers receive is customized. This helps subscribers and advertisers at the same time, which is our goal as a marketing company and a publisher.

  6. Willingness to Change - Regardless of your market or industry, things are always changing. Your design, your message, your branding, and your tone must adapt to the times to guarantee engagement. No one wants to interact with content that’s not up-to-date, nor do they want to read it in a format that looks like it was created as a Geocities page. To show that we mean business, here’s a 15-year comparison from www.rdmag.com:

    RD2004_RD2019
  7. Life - Any content worth reading has life to it. While it’s important to educate and update about timeless trends and facts, it’s also vital to engage directly with your audience with what’s happening right now. Webinars, videos, event updates, and other live content can be a huge help to bring readers into a conversation. This sort of content lets them know you’re real people doing real things every day, just like them. Don’t just write about it - be about it!

We hope that these pointers help guide you towards creating better content. If you’re struggling to create great content, or can’t create it at the scale you envision, we can help! Contact us today for more information.

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