What parent hasn’t called on the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” phrase to encourage their children to talk nicely to others. I promised I’d never use it. Guess how that turned out.
The same concept applies to content marketing with a small twist.
There’s so much pressure nowadays to produce endless content in order to stand out in the sea of content creators. Some people recommend you post on Facebook 5 times a day in order to make sure you’re reaching your audience! Seems like overkill to me. I’d rather focus on quality.
So I try to live by this golden rule: “if you don’t have anything interesting to say, don’t say anything at all.” I don’t always live up to that promise, but I do have a few ways of testing my content before I decide to post it.
Here are my 4 rules for testing your content’s Interesting-ness. (No, really, it’s a word.) Put your potential post through this mini test. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, then post away! If not, zip it.
- Does it tell a story? Stories are the great human connector. It’s what makes Facebook so popular. We have the ability to share stories about our lives with 500 of our closest friends. Even on your business social media pages, people will connect with you better if you’re sharing a story. Tell stories about your staff. People relate to people. And showcasing the people behind your brand humanizes your company, building trust and affection. Bottom line, people do business with people they like.
- Does it make me feel something? This is an extension of storytelling. Does your content evoke some sort of emotion? Is it controversial? Is it thought-provoking? Will it make me laugh? If it stirs emotion in you, it’s bound to do the same for your readers, so go on… share it.
- Is it relevant to my audience? We are all students. And when we decide to follow someone online, we do so because they bring value to our lives. They give us information we might not find elsewhere. They give us content that will help us improve our lives or our business in some way. And they teach us something. Does your content fit into this category? Does it provide news or cutting edge information about your industry? Or does it give your audience tips that will help them up-level their lives? If it does, then it’s worthy of a post.
- Does it allow me to engage my audience? Since so many companies have joined social media, the landscape has become littered with marketing messages. Many brands have forgotten that people log onto Instagram and Twitter to escape… and to connect with their friends. Brands that ask their audience questions, solicit feedback, and foster a community of playfulness will do much better online than those that just try to market all the time. So before you push post, ask yourself, will this content help me start a conversation with the people I’m most interested in talking to? Is there a question I can add to get them to provide me some feedback or just chat with me? Many times this is an easy tweak to the way something is written. But it can mean the difference between a quality post and one that falls flat.
We have so much to weed through on the internet these days. While it is important to consistently produce content for your audience, it’s just as important to make sure that content is top notch. Quality is what will get you noticed. What test do you use before posting your content? How do you decide if it’s worth sharing? Post your thoughts in the comments below!
Nina Radetich is a longtime journalist and founder of Nina Radetich New Media Strategies, a social media consulting agency in Las Vegas. Nina helps businesses build their social strategies and connect with customers through creative social media campaigns. You can find Nina at ninaradetich.com or by contacting her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article first appeared on Nina’s blog.