How to Create Great Content that Stands Out

Posted by Chris Formosa

Every business has a problem: user acquisition. How do we target potential customers and convert them into users when the internet is so noisy? Over 2 million blog posts are published every day, 55 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day, 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube each minute, and 30 billion pieces of content is shared on Facebook every month. So how will your content stand out?

What makes good content?

It all boils down to great content. In today’s marketing environment, you simply can’t generate traffic, leads and conversions without awesome content. So, what makes good content? We know that bad content is salesy, fully of errors, lacks concrete actionable information and focuses on your brand instead of your reader. Good content is clear, informative, entertaining and/or educational and adds value to your audience’s daily life.

In its early days, Groupon used outlandish copy in an attempt to stand out. It used descriptions that were so bizarre they bordered on fantastical. Hair was described as “frayed head threads,” while spray tanners were “handheld hue-changers” and teeth were “mouth cubes.”

Here’s an example: “The earliest salons were informal gatherings where B-list philosophers gibbered away so they couldn’t hear themselves dying of plague. Get an earful of the modern salon’s soothing hair-dryer purrs and scissor chopchops instead with today’s deal: for $30, you get $100 worth of services at Gary Patrick Salon at its location in Pleasanton.”

Groupon Copy Example

Now, you will notice that Groupon’s copy is clear, direct and much easier to understand. Readers don’t have to work to figure out what the deal is about. On Groupon’s site today you will find copy like “30 Days of Unlimited Hot-Yoga Classes or 10 Classes at Westcoast Hot Yoga (Up to 69% Off). Build strength, balance, and flexibility while stretching and bending in a 30to 40-degree room”. Much better!

Choosing the right format

It’s also important to choose the format that will best facilitate the type of content you’re ready to share. There are many formats you can leverage, like a mixed media blog post, infographic, video, image, or presentation. Blog posts, presentations and forum discussions are more text based, while photos, videos and infographics are more visual. Leverage your social data to asses the success of each type of content you’re publishing and understand what medium will best suit your next piece of content.

Content Medium Infographic

Choosing the right channel

Next, you will want to pick the channel that will best suit your format. Many channels that exist include your blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Quora, forums, YouTube, etc. You may want to break your original story into chunks and distribute it across multiple channels. The best way to accomplish this is through your blog; post the full story on your blog and link back to it through images on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. Or even post a complimentary video on YouTube or Vine. Remember, each channel is different, so ensure your messaging and copy is primed for each.

In our next post, we will be sharing some best practices around the different formats and channels you can leverage when developing awesome content. Stay tuned!