Content marketing is many things to many people, but there are certain core content concepts to keep consistent across the board. Today we’re talking about four in particular.
Regardless of what kind of content you’re creating, these four ‘friendlys’ are prerequisites.
In 2011, 35% of all U.S. adults had a smartphone. Today, that number is closer to 70% — though for younger adults aged 18-29 it’s an even more staggering 86%.
As smartphone usage continues to increase, so does content consumption. As well as mobile advertising. Facebook alone anticipates raking in $30 billion in mobile ads next year.
Your content needs to be mobile-friendly in 2017. Google is increasingly prioritizing this metric. They’ve made several tweaks to their ranking algorithm in recent years to reward mobile-friendly sites and penalize those that are not responsive, and they continue to head in that direction.
Mobile-friendliness nestles nicely under the larger umbrella of being user-friendly.
Content marketing is for your audience. Everything you create should be with your audience in mind. It’s a waste of time if it’s not geared toward their interests.
Every audience is different, but consider this list from Buzzsumo about the types of content that tend to excel in B2B contexts:
- Practical guides and helpful content
- In vogue and hot topics
- Research and insights
- Case studies
- Authoritative industry news
With the possible exception of finding a way to incorporate cute/cuddly animals, and also eye-catching imagery, that’s a pretty decent list.
Whatever you create, just make sure it loads quickly, and is easy to navigate. And also relevant, practical, and somehow useful.
One more thing I’ll mention here is to remember who exactly you’re creating content for. We tend to create content with the intent of reaching new customers. But don’t neglect your existing customers/audience. Keep in mind that it’s anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. Take time to craft special messaging for your loyalists. That sort of thoughtful communication segmentation is the height of user-friendly!
Time is money, right? Respect your audience’s time by keeping your content concise. Tight writing, nice graphics, short and sweet.
When reading online, we tend to scan, often heavily favoring the left side of pages and following an ‘F pattern’ — with pretty astounding consistency across the board. It’s how our brains and eyes process information quickly.
Another time-friendly tip is to use reflexive writing, or practical, real-world examples to get your points across. And speaking of points, don’t skimp on those beautiful, bold, broken-out bullets. Bullet points make for easy, swift scanning.
Boom! On to the next and final point…
Plain Old Regular Friendly
Don’t forget to be friendly-friendly! Don’t be a salesy robot. Let some human personality shine through in your content.
Be generous and genial. Utilize content marketing as a vehicle for promoting goodwill, and a gateway to creating genuine relationships. That’s the golden ticket right there.
Of all the fundamental ‘friendlys,’ plain old regular friendly might just be the most important.