Have you ever posted something on social media and hoped for zero likes? We didn’t think so. No one invests time in content marketing expecting it will fall flat. We post on social media because we want something in return. We want the likes, the comments, and visits to our websites. And of course, we want our content to lead to more customers. So, if your content doesn’t do much, what should you do?
I will give you the one cardinal rule to help you create better content. The biggest rule of all. The one check you should do before you publish anything that will significantly improve how many people will read it, like it, share it and so on. You really only need to ask one question. And I will tell you exactly what that question is in a few seconds.
It’s very common to hear people complain that most content they see online, especially on social networks, is useless to them. It’s fluff, it doesn’t really answer their question or help them solve a problem they have.
In fact, a USC Annenberg study published earlier this year showed that 49% of people think that “the internet” makes the world a worse place. Yet we spend on average of 24 hours per week online, according to the same study. 24 hours immersed in useless content?
If you’re like me, you’ve gone to Facebook and instantly forgot why you went there. You get sucked into an hour of browsing political rants and looking at puppy and kitten videos. Social media has a temporary memory loss effect. I often write down on a piece of paper what I’m looking for before I go on Facebook because I instantly forget why I’m there.
So, what makes great content?
I will give you one rule. The biggest rule of them all. The biggest test. Just one test combines all the good content advice marketing gurus keep throwing at you. You know when they say: good content is compelling content. Good content is useful, inspiring, uplifting, entertaining. What the hell does that mean? Seriously?
Here’s what you should do each and every time you think of what to create. Ask yourself this: will my people (targets, prospects, leads) print this and put it on their desk? Or save it to a Pinterest board, or bookmark it (or whatever activity one may take to save something so they can access it later), because they absolutely cannot afford to lose this information?
(I know, I know. If all content would be like that, all desks will be buried in paper.)
The idea here is that you have to set high standards for your content. Set the bar high. Even if you don’t always hit that level of quality, by striving to get there, you’ll automatically produce better content than before (and than your competition).
That’s the standard you should aim for. Content that people will want to save and refer to later. That’s good content.
So next time you’re looking to waste some time online, check out theuselessweb.com.
Then tell me in the comments, can something useless be turned around into content that’s worth bookmarking?