Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great Web Content: Recognizes the Intent of the Reader

Here's #2 of a 10-part series on the "The 10 Hallmarks of Great Web Content." Read the full white paper, or view all the blog posts in the series.

In his post, "Five reasons your content is damaging your brand," Kevin Gibbons writes that in the rush to perform search engine optimization, marketers are defeating what should be their primary objective: building of their brand. The bottom line is that readers seek content to learn something--not to be pitched to, or to raise the click-through rate of a link. Anything less than good content frustrates the reader and destroys the brand, no matter what the Web analytics say.

Hallmark of Great Web Content #2:
Great Web content recognizes intent.
First and foremost, content must have a value proposition that appeals to what the person wants, and it must be respectful of the reader's relationship to the brand. Pushing for an in-person demo, for example, is appropriate for someone who is in buying mode, but it is a turn-off to a person who just entered the sales funnel. Some lead generation experts equate the latter situation with proposing marriage on the first date. In the early stages of the sales cycle, buyers are learning the marketing landscape. They want an education, not a solicitation.

Technical buyers consume online media throughout their process, according to TechTarget’s “2009 Media Consumption Benchmark Report 2: Closing the Gap.” They favor specific content at specific parts of the sales cycle, the study found. For example, buyers visit online communities for information in the early stages of the buying process. In the middle of the cycle, Webcasts are popular. Buyers like demos in the second and final stages.

For more hallmarks of great web content, read the white paper.

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