Five Golden (Content) Rules
Posted By Amy Kauffman On December 20, 2012 @ 6:00 AM In Creative Best Practices, Opinions, Search, Social Media, Targeting | 1 Comment
Ah, the infamous Fifth Day of Christmas. I don't know about you, but this might be the only part of the (original) song that I can actually remember every time. But in the case of these Five Content Creation Rules, not rings, I encourage you to commit these to memory as well!
I'm sure you've already heard the saying, "Content is King," but what does that really mean? It all began with content as the key for search engine optimization and the huge role it played in positioning your company as an industry resource. Then came the rise of social and the need to push consistent communication. Creative tactics emerged through micro-sites and with social media popularity exploding, brands had to compete with the thought-leaders or become obsolete in the marketplace.
1. Know Your Audience
Let's be real. If you don't know who you're trying to reach there's no use in creating content at all. Know who you're writing for. Is it women ages 24-40 or men ages 60 and older? Decide who your audience is and then learn everything you can about them. Find what questions they have, what motivates them and what they like. THEN, create your content.
2. Tell a Story
Tell a story that is personable, approachable, tangible and memorable. For example: Every year, The Hartford sponsors the Paralympics, and just last year the company decided to tell this story. They launched a media and video campaign  through the medium of Facebook highlighting the athletes themselves. The result was a very successful and emotional story connecting with people on an individual and very personal level.
3. Limit the Fluff
The average attention span is very, very short. You need to get right to the point or you run the risk of losing the audience. Eliminate any unnecessary points to keep content concise and hyper-focused. If you'd like some additional examples on the process of un-fluffing, check out one of our previous blog posts  on a similar topic!
4. Make it Shareable
The best way to get your content out there is to spread it across all appropriate mediums. So making it easy for others to share your content should be a BIG priority. Try to think of a blog that doesn't prominently display social sharing buttons. It's tough, right? That's because most people won't go out of their way to share your content so just make it simple!
5. Say What You Know...
...and not what you sell. Customers are not looking to read your blog or micro-site to see what you sell, they can view that in a catalog or on the products and services tab on your site. They are interested in what you know and what you stand for. It’s time to start communicating as a trusted and relevant source and not as a sales script. Storytelling is the new content marketing.
See where your expertise and your customer’s interests overlap to tap into your niche. Tell a unique story and communicate in a way that no other competition can touch.
How can you be a part of the fun festivities of the 12 Days of Christmas, you ask? By Liking us on Facebook  or Following us on Twitter , if you don't already. (You don’t want to be on that naughty list, do you?)
and follow me on Twitter, too! @amykauffman 
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://hmgcreative.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/5thDay.jpg
 media and video campaign: http://goo.gl/e0XPA
 blog posts: http://hmgcreative.com/blog/email-design/how-to-overcome-tunnel-vision-in-email-design/
 Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hmgcreative
 Twitter: https://twitter.com/hmgcreative
 @amykauffman: https://twitter.com/AmyKauffman
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