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Know why so many company websites are so incredibly, absurdly, infuriatingly... dull? Why so many corporate blog posts are little more than the undistinguished opinions of an executive or three, followed with the saddest of all online responses: "0 comments"?

To find out why, just watch a few episodes of Next Food Network Star. On NFNS, one follows the contestants week after week, as one wannabe Mario Batali, then another, then another gets booted off the program. What happens at the end? The winner gets her own show, minus all the other personalities and the drama of competition, and suddenly... she's not that interesting.

Moral of the story: It's contrast that makes a good program, and contrast that will make your Web content worth reading.

Content marketing—successful content marketing—should be more than an online depository for the random thoughts of your CEO. Executive opinion writing is fine as a form of expression, but it's limited and, when unleavened by anything else, very often dull.

So: How do you avoid the deep deadly pit of uninspired corporate content? Simple. If you want people to come to your site, and stay there, your content should be as rich and varied as that of a good consumer magazine. Offer that kind of variety, and you'll really build a community.

Here's how.

Think in terms of different departments, or regularly recurring kinds of content, for your website. You want to offer a true variety of relevant stuff, and to provide information that is as far from a sale pitch, and as close to journalism, or in some cases, entertainment, as you can manage. Also: Consider your audience. What kinds of narratives should you offer them? Your customers or constituents have various things that bind them together. Find out about their interests.

EMS customers, let us say, care about the environment and a healthy lifestyle and adventure travel—and if the company wanted to create some content marketing, it'd do well to peruse the sorts of things published in Outside, National Geographic, or even Men's Health or Women's Health, and adapt them for its organically rough-and-tumble audience.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ken Gordon is the social-media manager for the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education. If you liked this article—or you happen to care about excellence in Jewish education—please Like the PEJE Facebook page.