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The Ten Rules of Content Marketing (Part One)

Content marketing goes by many names. To some, it is known as inbound marketing. To others, it is called attraction marketing or a form of digital marketing. By definition, content marketing is the use of educational, resource-based content to attract potential customers to your company or brand. Content marketing helps turn prospects into sales leads or customers.

Content marketing is the heart and soul of the Internet. This content can range from videos and podcasts to written articles like this one. If its information being absorbed by users on a website, then it’s a form content marketing!

There are 10 fundamental rules to follow in the world of content marketing. Some of these rules might seem counter-intuitive, but they are altogether necessary. If you are new to content marketing, or if you’re looking to improve content marketing strategy, these rules will prove to be very useful.

Let’s take a look at the first five rules.

Rule #1 – Write Content for Your Reader, Not for Your Company

When people publish content online, they often write about themselves and how great they are — in one way or another. This tends to be true for companies of all sizes. One might be excellent in their field and highly qualified, but readers usually aren’t as interested as you would like them to be in content about you. Readers generally care much more about one thing, what’s in it for them.

So, the main focus in your content should be what you can do for your readers and prospective customers. The rest of the information on your website will be helpful, yet it is ultimately superfluous. When you write content, focus on grabbing your reader’s attention, and remember you will have their attention if you can convince them you can do something for them. Good content tells a story, and the reader is always the hero of this story. So, you’ll want to write about your reader, focusing on the benefits they receive and how your company solves their problems.

Rule #2 – Write in The Language of Your Reader

Companies team members speak a familiar and unique language. This language incorporates acronyms and other industry jargon. It flows naturally between team members of your company, but your target market does not necessarily understand this corporate language. Your target market has its own language, and this is what you’ll need to understand in order to reach prospective customers and best communicate with them. This is also key to getting found in Google searches as people research online and look for solutions.

Rule #3 – You Have to Use Your Content to Get Found in Google

One of the biggest mistake content writers make is not coding their website pages for the fundamentals of SEO. If your content is not findable in Google searches, then only those who are already connected to your content, in some way, will be able to find you. You want people to find you in Google for a variety of search terms.

All of your content must be optimized for search engines. This means your content needs to be not only relevant to readers — it must also be coded for the key search terms needed to guide people to your company. It also helps to post new, original content on a regular basis. This is true because Google loves brands that are online publishers and drives more traffic to these websites.

Rule #4 – Content Has to Be A Consistent Voice of Your Brand

For content marketing to work very well, there must be a consistent structure and strategy that drives the voice of your brand. For this to happen, marketers should clearly understand your brand’s purpose, values and key goals. These things are expressed as the voice of your brand in all content marketing efforts.

This will help provide clarity in your content and help prevent you from creating unrelated pieces of inconsistent content causing broad confusion for readers. For these reasons, in content marketing, it is essential you understand the voice of your brand.

Rule #5 – Talk About What You Can Do for The Customer

Marketers and business leaders often wonder where to get content ideas to keep a steady stream of content flowing on their websites. Content ideas are all around you!

The best content ideas come from the everyday happenings within your company, especially customer interactions.

In many cases, it’s the gift of value your company has to offer that people want to read or hear about the most. What things do you do better than anyone else and how is your company unique? How you help your customers or clients?

Your content should translate what you do really well. Don’t hide the best qualities of your company. The translation of these qualities into a voice the customer understands is a key element of excellent content marketing.

Check out the next five rules coming soon on the Intuitive Websites’ blog.

Thomas Young

Thomas Young is the CEO and Founder of Intuitive Websites. He is a consultant, award winning Vistage speaker and author of “Winning the Website War” and “Sales and Marketing Alignment.” Tom has helped thousands of companies succeed online and has over 25 years digital marketing experience.