“Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made in the internet, just as it was in broadcasting.”
– Bill Gates
Surely this isn’t the first or last time you’ll hear it! If you are in business, consume information and do not live under a rock, chances are you’ve heard it before: “Content is King.”
It’s no surprise the famous and often overused phrase “Content is King” was born from the foreseeing wisdom of the one and only Bill Gates, as the title of an essay he wrote in 1996. Two decades later this dead-on little title that has become an industry staple is as accurate as ever. Yes, it’s a buzz phrase, and yes there is a reason for it, content is still very much king!
In today’s colossal marketplace, you not only need content to stand out, you need outstanding content that stands out! Let’s get down to business here; you must have a well thought out content marketing approach to attract, engage and retain clients. But Gina, you might ask, in a world already oversaturated with information (aka content) how do I stand out? Fear, not young Jedi, I’m going to dish three ingredients that will get you on the right track.
You already know we live in an incredibly noisy world and consumers are constantly bombarded with massive amounts of this so-called “King.” We are more thirsty for information than ever, but we are also more discerning and here is where the “standing out” part comes in. It is also where what I call “the Queen” comes in, and that is engagement! Engagement baby!!! While content is indeed king, what is a king without a queen? Engagement is your queen; engagement is what will trigger that desired result of turning readers into buyers and buyers into clients that love you and keep coming back.
There are three crucial ingredients to consistently engaging content. I call these the three I’s of your content marketing approach: Inform, Inspire, Interact.
Shall we dive into these three key I’s you need?
Inform – You may be saying, duh. By definition, in this context, content is simply information, yet I see so much “content” with so little substance. So much of it is focused on the platform it’s delivered or worse on a foreseeable pitch. That is not good information, that is just poor copywriting. Look, the reality is you are already either taking the time to put out the content or investing in a content specialist to do so; so do it right! Create valuable content that pushes your creativity that celebrates our intelligence, that honors the impact you want to have on your readers and that truly informs. Inform with real value, inform with true substance, inform with expression, inform in a way that will lead you to next “I.”
Inspire – Compel, entice, seduce, fascinate, aim at making us feel! Ultimately your goal is to influence your readers/viewers/listeners to take a specific action. Like it or not, we make decisions and take action based on emotions. Invoke those emotions. When you create content from a place of passion, expression and a pure desire to “inform,” you will inspire yourself and the rest of us in the process. When you inspire you will effortlessly invite the third “I.”
Interact – Aha, the Queen’s domain! Interaction creates engagement. You can write, talk, film, or whatever your preferred content method is until the cows come home if you don’t inspire enough to get your audience to interact with you, your chances of getting them as clients are quite slim. When you do your job of inspiring, you will invite interaction. And when you do, do not skimp on this crucial component; comment, respond, engage, ask! Interaction creates community, community generates engagement, engagement instills trust, and trust is what will keep them coming back.
In a nutshell, you need outstanding content that stands out! The good news, it’s not that hard. All you have to do is have a well thought out approach that informs with enough compelling value that inspires your audience and builds the desire to interact with you. Inform, inspire, interact!