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Article

Content without a Goal is Unemployed

What's your content done for you, lately?

Is your marketing content unemployed? What I mean by this is that content, to be of value to anyone, must do something. If your content is not written with the express intention of helping your audience learn, understand or take action about something (or all three), it's just sitting there on your web page, taking up space.

And, quite possibly, driving people away from your website.

A lot of content I come across doesn't live up to its billing. How many times have you read a headline and thought, "yes, just what I'm looking for," only to click through and be disappointed to learn that the headline was geared for generating click throughs but nothing more? That's just one example of useless content.

I come across a lot of content that isn't employable. This condition is usually represented by:

  • blah, blah, blah, so what - it's all about them stuff
  • content that tells me about a subject but leaves the reader stumped as to what to do next to actually utilize that information effectively
  • content that starts off on a good tack and then veers wildly in a direction that deviates from its implied promise
  • content that's not in the least engaging to the audience it's attracting
  • content obviously written for someone who's not your audience (different role, industry, interest)
  • jargon filled content meant to generate search optimization but not audience comprehension.

Really irritating, unemployed content can be found on website homepages and consists of a description of what the company does that is so jargon-filled that no reasonable person can ascertain what that might be.

If you want to find your content highly employed, try a few of these pointers:

  • write for your audience
  • provide something they consider high value and relevant
  • teach something
  • clarify an issue
  • make it easy to understand
  • engage me with your style and tone
  • make me feel welcome
  • ensure I'm glad I clicked through
  • give me a call to action that's about me, not you
  • get to the point, then expand so I get something meaty that gets me involved

Highly employable content is:

  • working hard in search results for audience-centric terms
  • stayed with long enough to be read from beginning to end
  • positioned to invite further engagement from the audience
  • referred to others with similar interests
  • interactive - meaning it invites response, generates conversation, etc.

Content has got to be more than words on a page. If it's not employable, boot it and "hire" other content that works harder for your audience. Yes, this means your content won't engage everyone. Then again, everyone is not your market.

More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.