Content, at its heart, is communication. Great content is communication that builds trust.
I firmly believe that you get what you pay for— especially when it comes to content. And great content doesn’t come from a “sausage factory.”
What do I mean by that? I mean that you can’t churn out a high volume of content at a rapid pace without a thoughtful strategy and expect it to be great. Don’t get me wrong—I sympathise with the urge to save money, especially if you have an easy “good enough” option available. Sausage factory content produced quickly and cheaply might be “good enough,” but it won’t set you apart from your competition and really connect with your users.
At EVG, we don’t bother with sausage factory content. We aim for great content, every time. Here are some of the ways you can tell great content from… well. You get the metaphor by now!
Great content is specific.
It’s 2017. People are savvy to content marketing needs, and there’s an unimaginable amount of content available online. This means you can’t just knock out a vague general interest blog and expect people to be excited by it. Plus, you’ll never rank respectably in search engine results if this is your content strategy. Never.
Great content must have an angle or a personality all its own to justify its existence. Make it specific and interesting to pique people’s interest. For example, you could certainly write a blog called “Things to Do Near Our Hotel” in a short amount of time with relatively little effort. However, it’s very unlikely that such a watered-down topic will get you much attention. That’s a sausage factory blog.
Instead, you should get specific and produce content like “5 Things History Enthusiasts Will Love About Our London Hotel at Christmastime.” This type of niche content is not only more interesting— it’s more likely to rank in Google and achieve conversions.
Great content is authoritative.
There is a time and place for poetic writing and personal essays, but generally speaking, it’s not when you’re implementing a content marketing strategy. You can be a fantastic writer, but if you’re not an expert in the subject you’re writing about, it’s really just window dressing. So don’t skip your research!
If you don’t have the time or resources to adequately research your topic, find an expert! This is harder than it sounds— true experts can be hard to find, but it’s worth it. At EVG, we pride ourselves on our ability to find subject matter experts from all kinds of industries, from travel to retail, and to integrate their insights into authoritative content.
Great content is goal oriented.
While sausage factory content combines lots of details that don’t work to support one goal or call to action, great content should include a call-to-action of some kind. By the time you finish reading, you should be motivated to do something.
Different goals require different kinds of content, so it’s important to decide what you want your audience’s reaction to be.
Are you trying to encourage someone to book a room? Do you want to inspire someone to plan a trip? Is your goal to persuade a current guest to join your loyalty program? Or do you simply want to offer fascinating content that users want to share?
It’s also important to build in ways to measure how well your content achieves its goal. You can do this by tracking social shares or offering special perks in exchange for contact information.
Another option is to set up goals in Google Analytics that you can track automatically, whether it’s form submissions, video plays, confirmation pages— whatever you determine your conversion to be. If your content isn’t achieving its goal, rethink it!
Great content is carefully edited.
Any good writer knows that cranking out a mediocre 1,000-word blog is usually much easier than crafting an excellent 300-word one. In well-edited content, every word is carefully chosen to contribute to the whole, and nothing is extraneous. EVG’s work creating content for the Raffles Hotels & Resorts Instagram account is a great example (if we do say so ourselves)!
This takes time and a “less is more” mentality, not a “toss it all in, we’re on a deadline” mentality. And it also takes skilled editors who understand the overall goal of your content strategy.
So pass on the sausage!
While you might be tempted to go with the lowest bidder for your content needs, I urge you to think twice! Cheap, sausage-factory content might save you money short term, but it won’t make you money long term.