What makes a content piece really pop?
The internet is a noisy world. What does it take for a content piece to really be heard above the noise. As the internet gets more crowded, the key to successful content marketing is non other than truly quality content.
Putting SEO aside for a moment, when we think of really good content, what comes to mind? Was it that article that had you pondering days after, or was it the article that gave you that ‘aha! so that’s how it works’ moment?
A great SEO content piece may be described as a long article, with all the meta titles, meta descriptions intact, along with the insertion of important keywords, key phrases and their synonyms.
But a great content piece, regardless of the medium it is delivered on, whether online or in print, has a distinct anatomy that makes it great. And it all really comes down to ‘how’ the content was written. Let’s take a look at some of the key characteristics of a truly great content.
Written for the Audience
The first and most important piece of information to consider before you even type in your first word, is to fully understand the audience you are writing for. The audience is essentially what defines the purpose of writing up the article in the first place. Are you writing for experts on the topic or for newbies. Are you writing for a younger or older audience. And so on and so forth.
Original and Unique
Aim for originality. This is especially so, if you’re writing an opinion or thought-leadership piece. While you’ll find that the same topic has probably been written many times by different writers already, add in your originality. That extra ingredient is what makes an article unique.
For instance, there would already be thousands of articles sharing recipes and instructions for baking chocolate cake, but what is it about yours that’s different. Is it the fact that you added a layer of pink frosting on top (well, no one said you’re not allowed to do that for chocolate cakes), or add a handful of raisins? And it’s that same extra ingredient to any article that makes it standout: originality.
Anything thought provoking is remembered. Hence, a good written piece of content, almost always contain some thought provoking element.
It doesn’t however mean that the entire content piece is crafted around big ideas, which is impossible to do so for articles such as ‘how to brew good coffee’. It may simply be the use of certain terms and words that evoke more intense feelings in the readers. Such as, ‘It’s painful to see..’, or ‘It’s absolutely surprising that…’.
Answers a Question or Solves a Problem
This one comes as obvious as it gets. If you’re in a rut and you’re searching for some how-tos and guide to help you fix a problem, then of course you’ll remember what you’ve read. Most likely, you’ll also remember the website you’ve read it from.
Consequently, if you find the article really useful, you’ll also want to share it on social media and so on and so forth. Great content that solves a problem, answers a question and just makes the life of the reader a little bit easier, are always memorable.
Engaging and Relatable
Besides knowing the reader and audience, one of the bigger challenges is to be able to write up the piece in a way for the said audience to feel they can see themselves in the article.
This goes beyond mere content writing, it really comes down to psychology. Humans are drawn to anything relatable to their own reality and individual experience. Hence, a well crafted article, that addresses the right audience with style and tone that matches the audience, are perceived as great content by those audience.
As such, the anatomy of a great content does not necessarily mean the ability of the writer to use big words, or fully SEO optimised with keywords and phrases…. but a content piece that has truly been written for the audience: to entertain, indulge, help and advise.