Here are eight factors that could help you create content that achieves greater cut through:
1. Adds value: It is educational, informative, or inspirational (sometimes it entertains too);
2. Relevant: It is relevant because it addresses the problems, needs, questions and aspirations of your audience. Good content is not about you. It’s about your customers or audience.
3. Timely: It is timely to this day, this week, this month or this year. If your content would be at home a year ago, or five years ago, it is not relevant.
4. Local: It is local to your audience. If your customers or your ‘public’ live and work here in New Zealand, or even if they are only in Auckland or Wellington or Ranfurly, your content should address that audience by referencing local place names, examples, news and events to add relevance.
5. Valuable: There’s tons of content out there. The Internet is swimming with information, education and inspiration.
The good news is most of it is re-hashed, unoriginal and lacking in substance because it doesn’t get down into the nitty gritty of a piece that is authentically trying to connect with the audience.
List articles are an excellent example of poor content, but everybody’s doing them because everybody’s doing them.
If your content is the same as what everybody else is producing, it is not valuable. For example, in New Zealand Kiwibank, Westpac and ASB provide video content on ‘how to write a business plan’. The video adds value, but it is not valuable because everybody’s offering it.
6. Expert: Interview an expert to add depth and credibility to your stories, videos, blogs and podcasts. Influencers love to influence.
7. Examples: Use examples of real people, real events and real names. Examples add richness and credibility to your content. They also allow you to use local references in your work.
8. Differentiates: Content that has mission will differentiate you in the eyes of your audience. All good publishers have a ‘mission’ statement that helps define the type and context of content they publish.
For example, Time’s mission is to tell the news through people. Life magazine’s mission was to tell the news through photographs and Newstalk ZB’s mission statement is “Great conversations start here”.