How Can Your Company Start Producing Useful Content?

by | Aug 23, 2011

In my last post, I mentioned your email marketing efforts will almost always be more successful when you offer value to your recipients.

In the comments, Chris Help backed up this point. He said “On the other hand, if someone sends out emails with USEFUL CONTENT, and eventually tries to sell me a related product, I’m much more likely to click through.”

Since there’s no denying the importance of useful content, the question many businesses have is “how do we produce useful content?”
While coming up with great content for your users can seem intimidating, the good news is you actually have plenty of options:

Share What Your Competitors Aren’t

In Rework, 37Signals tells businesses to “emulate chefs.” They ask readers “what can you tell the world about how you operate that’s informative, educational and promotional?”
This is exactly the type of content your audience wants to read. However, most businesses don’t serve it up to their audiences. Whether it’s because they’re afraid of sharing or simply too lazy to put this information in writing, the lack of this type of quality content is a prime opportunity for your business.

Go Step-by-Step

People love tutorials. Companies like Envato have flourished thanks to their focus on creating high quality tutorials.

When you already know how to do something, creating a tutorial isn’t as difficult as you might expect. You’re basically just using screenshots or a screencast to record what you normally do so you can share it with an eager audience.

Be Comprehensive

If you want your content to be helpful, make sure you cover all the bases.

This is just as true for emails as it is for product copy. As long as you’re delivering value to an interested audience, people will read a lot. Being comprehensive isn’t just about length. It’s also about your sources. Over the last few years, more businesses have grown wary of linking out to other blogs and sites.

However, not only is there no reason to worry about linking out, but doing so is how you can establish yourself as an authority. One of the reasons Wikipedia has continued to flourish is because editors make sure the articles are rich with external sources.

Once you make a conscious decision to focus on quality content, you’ll find that good ideas will start flowing!