Thought Leadership
  • Content marketing

10 cast-iron rules for content marketers - What makes great brand content?

Stephen Hobbs
20th March 2015

Firstly, brands need to think like publishers.

What makes great brand content? Well, firstly, brands need to start thinking like publishers. That doesn’t just mean having the basics like having a dedicated content team and applying accepted editorial practices: creation, curation, editing, output and social propagation, although that’s all vital.

Thinking like a publisher also means creating and maintaining a point of view while balancing timeliness with dead-on accuracy, which is where some agencies fall.

Great content that is useful and engaging doesn’t happen by accident; it requires experience and practice, often only achieved by working with partners with award-winning journalistic credentials and class-leading capabilities in graphic design, photography and video production. And yes, that means Mediablaze.

To that end, we have 10 principles of content marketing that we always stick with:

  1. Have a plan - know what key content goes where

    Always do editorial battle with a plan of what’s next. A seamless editorial strategy lets you join the dots between different content.

  2. Be consistent - a consistent tone of voice is key

    Whether it’s tone of voice, editorial branding, or types of feature, consistency means your brand works no matter where in the world your customer is. A consistent approach requires planning but will pay big dividends.

  3. Keep it fresh - create enough, regular content to keep the reader coming back

    Update regularly. Once a returning visitor has been back and found no new content on a couple of occasions, they’ll struggle to make the effort to come back again.

  4. Love your reader - find out what they want and give it to them

    Reading requires vastly more effort than looking at a pretty picture. So make it easy for your readers and use the right format, column width, length of article to make reading as hassle-free as possible.

  5. Mix up the execution - the treatment of the content is as important as the content itself

    Choose the right treatment for each feature, whether that’s an infographic, list or straight running copy. Think about changing things up feature-by-feature.

  6. Forge the right links - plan for Google and make your content search engine friendly

    It’s no good having amazing, vibrant content if nobody can see it. A lot of this will come through your social channels, but optimising your pages for SEO best practice and getting brand new customers through the door can’t be overlooked. Also recruit key influencers to help engage with your target audience.

  7. Make it social - identify your editorial hook and make it work socially

    Getting someone to read an article is easy - getting them to share it with their friends is the hard but invaluable part. Shareable content should be easily digestible and appealing to as wide an audience as possible.

  8. Ask the audience - engage the reader in conversation

    The quickest way to build a community is to give everyone a voice. Interact with your audience. Ask them questions. Yes, you’ll need someone to moderate the chitchat, but you’ll also encourage return visits and they’ll associate your brand with good things.

  9. Measure and improve - find out what works, cull what doesn't

    The best content still needs to draw the reader in. The judicious use of imagery, pull quotes and subheadings can make a good feature look great to a reader.

  10. Build trust before sales - inspiring content creates product desire

    If you make promises of content to your audience, deliver content to them. There might not be a direct correlation between marketing content and sales, but where there is, don’t try to push readers to buy too early.

Say hello

Have I missed anything? Let us know in the comments below. And if you need help with your brand’s content strategy, don’t hesitate to get in contact -

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