Sunday, June 23, 2013

Content Rules - How to create good content

Currently reading a book called Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business (New Rules Social Media Series) - yes the title is very long but the book speaks to 11 specific rules for generating content, check out the summary.
 The Content Rules

1. Embrace being a publisher. - Regardless who you are, you are a publisher!

2. Insight inspires originality. Know yourself better than anyone. Get your brand story straight, and give voice to your distinctive point of view based on your mission and attributes. Know your customers, too, and what keeps them up at night. What are their concerns and objectives? What do they care about? How will your brand help them in their daily lives?

3. Build momentum. Why are you creating? Good content always has an objective; it's created with intent. It therefore carries triggers to action.

4. Speak human. Communicate your brand mission, values, and philosophy in simple terms, using the language of your customers. Speak in a conversational tone, with personality, empathy, and true emotion. Kill corporate-speak, buzzwords, and other language that makes you sound like a tool.

5. Reimagine; don't recycle. Recycling is an afterthought; good content is intentionally reimagined, at its inception, for various platforms and formats.

6. Share or solve; don't shill. Good content doesn't try to sell. Rather, it creates value by positioning you as a reliable and valuable source of vendor-agnostic information. Your content shares a resource, solves a problem, helps your customers do their jobs better, improves their lives, or makes them smarter, wittier, better-looking, taller, better networked, cooler, more enlightened, and with better backhands, tighter asses, and cuter kids. In other words, it's high value to your customers, in whatever way resonates best with them.

7. Show; don't just tell. Good content doesn't preach or hard-sell. Instead, it shows how your product lives in the world. It demonstrates through case studies or client narratives how your customers use your product or service, and explains in human terms how it adds value to their lives, eases their troubles, and meets their needs. Good content is not about storytelling; it's about telling a true story well.[] [] Inspired by Jason Fried, co-founder of 37 Signals and co-author of Rework (Crown Business, 2010), writing in Inc. magazine.

8. Do something unexpected. There's no business like show business, right? Occasionally adding an element of surprise to your content both drives viral sharing and enhances your company's personality. (B2B companies, we're looking at you.)

9. Stoke the campfire. Like a good campfire, good content sparks interaction and ignites conversation between you and your customers, and among your customers themselves, in the social sphere.

10. Create wings and roots. This advice is usually applied to parenting (give your children roots to keep them grounded and wings to explore new worlds). But it applies to content nicely, too: Ground your content solidly in your unique perspective and point of view but give it wings to soar freely and be shared across social platforms, all over the Web.

11. Play to your strengths. You don't have to create everything and publish everywhere; you don't have to do it all inclusively—create killer blogs and podcasts and white papers and webinars and ebooks and puppet shows and whatever else you can imagine. You don't have to do all of that. But you do have to do some things—and, at the very least, one thing—really, really well.

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