Content is something that we always talk about in the context of online marketing. Marketers know that in order to enhance their search optimization and interact with followers on social media, they need to create content. But when we focus on content development, how often do we actually consider what makes content good?
Online content is inherently different from more traditional mediums. When someone clicks a blog or article, they have completely different expectations as to when they open up a newspaper or magazine.
This difference represents both a challenge and opportunity for businesses. Yes, online content development is something new and demanding, but it’s also a chance to build a community.
A recent Entrepreneur article talks about online content development. According to the article, two things online content should be is memorable and interactive:
“If you’re going to go to the trouble of crafting content, at least make sure it’s memorable. Traditional advertising used jingles and slogans to capture viewers’ attention. But with interactive content, you have many more options: Add an interactive quiz to engage visitors; Add video cartoons to illustrate an idea; Add audio interviews for case studies; Use polls to help people assess their learning progress.”
Online content was made to be interactive. Why would you just write a traditional article when you could get readers more involved by adding a poll or interactive map? Most people learn by doing something, so adding interactive elements can make your content more effective.
Length. Asking how long a ‘good’ article should be is a bit like asking how long a piece of string should be. A good article can be 300 words or 1,500. The important factor is that the length does justice to the subject matter. Certain topics, such as academic reviews, ‘how to guides’ and political thought pieces will be better suited to long articles, where image-heavy articles will be scored highly despite being light on word count. At any length, the cardinal sin is padding. Internet users are used to being able to digest quickly and move on, so adding unnecessary words can be a killer.
Be counterintuitive. This can also be called ‘having the element of surprise.’ Really great articles are those that provide a different angle on a known subject and present completely new ideas and discoveries that can educate and inform. A lot of online content doesn’t actually add anything new to conversations or simply states the obvious. Content that surprises and offers a new angle is what will excite and engage readers.
The other characteristic you should shoot for in your content development is memorability. Memorable content is more likely to get shared and even become viral on social media. Moreover, people will actually think back to it sometime later, rather than it just being a short-term fad.
With all the emphasis on content creation today, marketers should take more time to consider the quality of their content. To talk more about content development, or anything else, contact us today.