You need the right tool for the job, and you also need the right content for each audience. Great content that fits is useful content, supremely useful to your target customers.
In this episode of our popular Here’s Why digital marketing video series, Perficient Digital’s Mark Traphagen explains the primary characteristics of highly useful content and why it is critical to your content marketing.
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- The Three Marks of Great Content
- B2B Buyers on What Content Works…and What Doesn’t
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Eric: Mark, you’ve created an epic guide to creating content titled “The Three Marks of Great Content.” Forty-five hundred words and you talk just about three characteristics of effective content.
Mark: I certainly recognize that there are a great many factors that contribute to content quality. But after years of intensively studying the most effective content employed by brands, I really believe there are just three essential marks that are present in all the best content: usefulness, alignment, and uniqueness.
Eric: We’ll explore what you mean by aligned and unique in other “Here’s Why” videos, but for now explain why all great content is useful content.
Mark: Sure, Eric. I like to say that usefulness is the catalyst of content effectiveness.
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Now in chemistry, a catalyst is something that greatly accelerates a chemical reaction. In a similar fashion, you can have all the other marks of great content in place, but it’s the usefulness of the content that makes it take off and truly connect with your audience.
There are actually many kinds of usefulness, and the key is to make your content useful in the way your targeted audience needs it to be. Now, if they are looking to answer a question…
Eric: Like what’s a hammer for?
Mark: Exactly. If they are looking to answer a question, then providing the best answer is being useful. If they are looking to buy something, let’s say, then being as helpful as possible in assisting them to make the right choice, that’s being useful. And if someone is just looking to be entertained, then being amusing and engaging is being truly useful to that audience.
Eric: But why is it important to be useful for the content to be truly effective?
Mark: My article gives five reasons. But let me share two of the most important here.
The first is useful content builds credibility and brand affinity. Master salesman Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” That’s the key principle of why our content must be useful. But it only works long-term if people feel they can trust it. It’s important to do your homework. Be sure your facts are straight, and to never ever try to deceive your audience.
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Now, another reason useful content is so effective is it earns the right to market. According to the CMO Council, 87% of B2B business purchasers say content has a significant impact on their vendor selection. Why? Because authoritative, relevant, extremely useful content reflects on the knowledge, expertise, and interest level of the company that produces it. Now, useful content cuts through the noise of mere advertising and breaks down the natural barriers between seller and buyer.
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Eric: Thanks Mark. And our viewers can learn a lot more about the marks of great content in your article here.
Don’t miss a single episode of Here’s Why. Click the subscribe button below to be notified via email each time a new video is published.