There are plenty of content marketing strategies, but they all share one not-so-secret ingredient: great content.
Not good content. Great content.
These days, you can find good content in your cousin’s Facebook post. To stand out from the masses and really create an effective content marketing program, you need truly great content.
That begs the question, what makes content great? Excellent writing is the minimum cost of entry for just good content. Great content requires more. Much more. Specifically, great content needs to be:
Let’s explore these five components.
Original content is a big deal. In fact, it’s such a big deal that in content marketing circles, it’s simply known as OC. But what makes content OC?
OC is more than content that hasn’t been plagiarized from someone else’s website. OC is more than content that hasn’t already been posted 100 different places. OC is content that presents fresh ideas in a fresh way. It’s content that connects with the consumer in a way that makes them think, gee, this is pretty cool. I never thought of that.
Without OC, you’re dead before you get started.
As a financial institution, your OC is going to consist of financial advice, literacy and education. Duh. But your financial OC needs to be more than just accurate. It needs to be useful.
For example, there’s not much point in providing PhD-level coursework in mutual funds. No modern consumer is going to take the time to struggle through that no matter how “valuable” the information. Likewise, notifying your members that today is national donut day isn’t useful either, unless you’re giving away free donuts at your new branch.
However, if you provide the consumer with a brief article on how to negotiate a better deal on a new car, and they’re about to go shopping for a new car, they’ll be able to use that new information instantly. And they’ll have you to thank for it.
Back in the day, how much time and money did you waste on OC for your printed newsletter? You knew nobody was going to read it, but you had to do it anyway. That’s just how it worked.
Times have changed. Today that OC has to work for you – and it can, as long as you make it accessible. It should be presented on your website in front of any user authentication so the whole world can benefit from your great content. And your OC must be presented in a format that’s easy to read, easy to navigate and easy to search.
You’ve undoubtedly heard the term frictionless user experience. You need to create a frictionless user experience with your content marketing.
You need OC that’s so great, every person who reads it will want to share it with every single person they know. Okay, maybe that’s setting the expectation a little too high, but you get the point. You’ll only get the most out of your OC if you make it easy for readers to recommend it to their circle of friends and family. In other words, social media shares need to be one click away.
In some ways, this is the most important aspect of all. What’s the point of paying someone for original, usable, accessible, shareable content if you can’t make it your own? What’s the point of licensing a robust presentation engine full of great OC if you can’t add a little bit that’s unique to just your financial institution?
For example, I talked earlier about a hypothetical article on auto buying. Shouldn’t that article have a link to your auto loan rates? Or maybe even include your auto loan rates in the body of the article? Speaking of links, shouldn’t that article also include a link to your online auto loan application so that it actually drives revenue?
That’s the holy grail of content marketing – the ability to acquire expertly crafted content and then carefully tailor it to drive revenue for your institution.
If your contenting marketing efforts address these five requirements, you’ll be off to an excellent start. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.