The standards of content marketing, from fluff to fantastic
There’s a veritable ton of content written online. In March 2019, over 4.4 million blog posts were published each day around the world. 2020 is looking to be even higher.
Does that mean 4.4 million blogs are worth reading? Definitely, 10000% not.
What makes blogging so appealing is also its weakness — anyone can write anything they like, to whatever standard (or lack thereof) they deem appropriate, leaving the internet awash with a spectrum of content quality.
From rambling to researched, there’s no such thing as “quality control” online
But as you wade through the masses of low-quality content, something sparkles — it’s a rare piece of beautiful blogging that stands out from the crowd and makes you realise just how good a piece of content really can be.
It’s smooth, shiny, and entices customers to sign up, buy, or book in for whatever they’re offering — it does exactly what it's aimed to do.
If you’re new to content marketing and blogging, you might think you know how to write for your customers … but it’s not always that easy.
Without knowing where to start to create high-quality content, too many company blogs get trapped in creating “fluff”, the easiest and fastest type of blog to write.
Clever companies make it past that level to reach a fair standard that reads like a news story or essay and gets a decent response from their customers.
Yet too few manage to reach the level of fantastic — the content that makes you say “Wow”, the article you forward to your colleagues and say “Why can’t we write like that?”
That’s what you want to create on your company blog, and BizStory Content can help you get there.
To mark out the goal posts, let’s take a look at the good and the bad of content marketing, before we get to creating the beautiful blogs …
Good blogs are often taken for granted, as they fulfil their purpose without making a big show or standing out too much.
You can identify a good blog because it’s
- Written to the audience
A good blog explores a topic or proves a point in a logical, structured way. It should flow and build on itself, or tell a story from paragraph to paragraph — not dissimilar to a news article or university essay.
Good blogs add value to reader’s lives, using research, statistics and interviews to demonstrate their point and earn trust before convincing them to make a purchase, sign up, or whatever the call to action is.
Popular styles for good blogs include
- Behind the scenes
- “How X works”
- “Our insight on X current event”
- 5 steps to / 5 ways to …
Taking a huge step backward from good blogs to bad, we find “fluff”.
Fluff is exactly what it sounds like — light, shapeless, and pointless. These are the articles that have clickbait titles, yet when you open them they’re short and don’t even fulfil the promise of the title.
They’re a far cry from the high-quality content your company blog should be producing.
Fluff content uses language that is
- Makes blanket statements or generic claims
- Relies on cliche
- Doesn’t ask for action
They usually haven’t considered a strategy around what their audience might need or how the content can contribute to their business goals.
Companies who write fluff are typically more concerned with maximising their resources, opting to spend a little time writing a lot of articles rather than focussing on creating high-quality content.
Although the majority of low-quality content is short, sometimes they bleed into multi-page ramblings of semi-related thoughts that don’t pull back to a central point — or even have a point at all.
When you finish the article, what are you left with? New information, insights, or inspiration to take action? Nope, just wasted time.
Finally, let’s look at the diamonds of blogging, the gold-standard of online articles. This is the benchmark for high-quality content, and what every company blog should aspire to create in order to reach their full potential.
Beautiful blogs are well researched, data-heavy (without being overwhelming), educational pieces that serve as a resource for others - and in doing so, provide great backlinks that help your SEO ranking!
This type of content marketing dives in deep to reveal new insights or provide fresh information over and above what competitors are already sharing. In doing this, it becomes known as a “skyscraper”.
The concept of “skyscraper” is simple: you look at the height that successful others have reached in their research and writing, and aim to go one step higher than that, thereby becoming the new “go-to” resource for online searchers.
Calls to action are woven through the text, making it an easy decision to click “purchase” at the end of the blog. After all, content marketing exists as a sales tool – so if it’s not converting views into sales, what’s it really achieving?
Case studies are another classic example of great content marketing, as they not only tell an insightful story about your product or service in action, but they show valuable social proof of others succeeding with your help.
Not everyone can create this content themselves, though. It’s time-consuming, requires planning, research, and sometimes interviewing several people. That’s where we can help.