After all, you do have the choice of what you decide to publish, don't you?
What kind of content attracts targeted customers and buyers to your marketing message?
The answer won't be a surprise to most; nevertheless, the concept or principle behind the answer needs frequent repeating until it's permanently embedded in the business operator's mind.
Here's my analogy.
Suppose you're hungry and anxious to find something to eat. So you stroll down the block past all the shops peeking in display windows and looking for something to satisfy your appetite. You're particularly sensitive to the sights and smells of each open door as you pass by various shops, but you're not willing to venture inside unless you're fairly satisfied that you'll stay and dine.
Are you likely to stop and sample food that appears to be many days old? You can see the mold and dust growing everywhere. Or would you be more apt to pass on that shop and find something that appeared fresh?
Are you going to stop at the store that displays its food in used, dirty, or leaking containers? Or will you search for items that are presented in an appealing and appetizing manner? Wouldn't you like to see some nice garnishments and maybe a succulent cherry on top?
Would an enticing sign or advertising display on the front sidewalk and in the window cause you to look more closely at a particular shop?
Will you stop for a plain mass-produced one-of-a-million product, or would you naturally seek out a specialty item that was a little different, intriguing, maybe mysterious, or even a little bit quirky - maybe something you've always wanted to try?
If a shop offered their house specialty at a reduced price for the next 10 customers that simply asked for it, would that help you to make your buying decision?
Would you be likely to stop at the shops that carried the types of food that you can't stand? Would any type of special discount or other offer make you change your mind about your basic preferences?
Would you buy from a store that had no activity inside? No sign of customers in the shop, no activity behind the counter, no cars in the parking lot, or even the appearance that others inside sitting at tables or the lunch counter? Or would you pass by such a shop, preferring to trust the busy bustling place that may even require you wait in line for a short time?
All of these characteristics that are important to you as you mentally form a decision about where to stop to satisfy your hunger can also be applied to a customer's search for good content in your business.
Prospects look for places that offer signs of their customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Regardless of how content is used in your business, whether it's meant as copy on a landing page on your web site, an article in your newsletter, a daily post in your blog, or as ad copy for a product or service, or a lead magnet for your site subscription, your prospects will be attracted and more apt to stop and read your message if it's engaging, appetizing and appears to satisfy the needs of other prospects in your particular niche (desire).
Here are some (not all) characteristics of good content, in the order we mentioned them in our food analogy above:
1. Appeals to one (or hopefully several) of the basic human senses. Can you tell a story that draws on the reader's interests, emotions and passion?
2. Makes you want to stop and sample it right now. If you pass by there is little chance you'll come back again anytime soon.
3. Is never stale or old or simply a rehash of what has already been said.
4. Is presented in an appealing manner. You want it to be packaged so that it's professional looking, without typographical errors, maybe has some interesting graphics, and some type of unexpected but welcomed bonus.
5. Is always prefaced by an attention-getting headline; every content product, article, blog post, advertisement, and web page needs one because it's what viewers skim before deciding to stop and consume.
6. Unique, custom made, original, intriguing, mysterious, possibly quirky, definitely not boring or too plain, and not a copy of the same thing available everywhere else.
7. Carries with it a sense of urgency or has limited access by just a few people. The fear of missing out on something is a powerful motivator that causes prospects to get in line now so they'll not be left behind.
8. Relevant. The customer, regardless of the deal he's getting, won't usually stop to read content if it's apparent that it has nothing to do with what he's searching for. If I hate seafood, it doesn't matter how you present it or how mouth-watering it may look and smell to a seafood lover, I'm going to pass it by without another thought.
9. Is painted or pitched as being popular. If others liked it, I should as well. If the product has already been downloaded 50,000 times, there must be a good reason. If a blog gets tons of traffic and comments, it must be worth reading. If there are many glowing testimonials, or likes, or shares, I feel more comfortable that I will benefit from it as well.
If you build all, or as many of these characteristics as you can, into your content, you'll have an excellent chance of stopping the prospect in his tracks and appealing to his feeling that he also needs to stop and sample this content.
Have a wonderful day of online marketing,