If you want your content marketing to have an impact, you must push beyond the obvious.
In a recent core update on Google Webmaster Central, they discuss content quality assessments (which impacts rankings). Appearing on the list of criteria is this question:
- Does the content provide insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond the obvious?
Beyond the obvious. We’re going to expand on this because it’s actually a glaring problem for a lot of web content.
Businesses tend to write about unoriginal topics using obvious examples. There is too much derivative content that never delves beyond surface-level analysis.
At this point, the internet doesn’t need more content telling us what we already know. Google recognizes and makes strides not to rank the obvious.
However, it views new, valuable insights that go beyond the obvious as worthy of high ranking. For your SEO strategy, you’re better off creating one unique, useful piece than ten that just rehash obvious points.
So how do you move beyond the obvious with your content? Let’s explore that question.
Focus More on Content and Less on Marketing
The situation that caused much of the online content glut is the reason the content is created in the first place: marketing.
Content marketing is a tactic businesses use to create brand affinity and draw prospects into their sales funnel. This includes all the written, graphic, and video content they create online.
The problem is that most businesses start out seeing content marketing as a means to an end. They’re not investing in content to publish material with stand-alone value for the audience. They’re investing in a marketing channel with the goal of winning new business.
It’s normal for businesses to start with this approach. After all, you’re in business to sell your products, not publish an online magazine, create a video series, or become a social media influencer.
The biggest challenge with content marketing is capturing and holding people’s attention. If you don’t overcome that challenge, your brand message won’t be heard, which defeats the purpose of creating the content in the first place.
If you think you can win attention online with obvious, trite content, you’re a walking oxymoron.
To use content marketing in branding campaigns, focus on the content instead of the marketing. Discover a niche to develop original material around. Strive to become known because of your topical authority, unique perspective, and bold stance.
Marketing derives from the attention your content gains. Google wants high search results to be a by-product of the content’s usefulness and popularity.
Be Bold, Narrow, and Targeted
To create content that goes beyond the obvious and stands out in a crowded market, you must be bold, narrow, and targeted.
Bold – take risks and create a recognizable, unique voice. Develop a story with point of view, humor, tension, and unexpected surprises. Put your product into a bigger context that goes beyond features and benefits.
Narrow – use specific topics in your content. Have one main idea for a piece and stay with it. Use brainstorming and multiple drafts to uncover insights. If your topics are too general it’s almost impossible to go beyond the obvious.
Targeted – if you try to be everything to everybody you’ll never develop a unique voice. Get to know your audience using both insights and data, then create fresh, unique content that resonates with them.
Tell A Story
To win at content marketing you need a story to tell, and it needs to be one people haven’t already heard.
Increasingly, Google and Facebook are favoring brands that know how to tell an original story.
To develop a brand story, gain insight into the aspirations of your customers.
For example, watch this video on RVing:
There is nothing about the product features in this spot. The benefits, such as the space in the RV and having a kitchen, are implied.
The story here is how this brings your family closer together as you get away in your RV. This is a lifestyle aspiration of parents who consider buying an RV.
When you connect to your customer’s lifestyle choices and personal aspirations, you tell nuanced stories that go beyond the obvious. Often, this is the best way to create a unique message that gives you an advantage in a competitive marketplace.
Most of your competition is creating content that’s derivative and obvious. Because going beyond the obvious means going above and beyond with your content creation efforts.
It’s not easy, but few things that really pay off are.
That’s pretty obvious, isn’t it?