Six Content Marketing Principles Customers are bombarded with different types of sales messaging every day. That’s a lot of noise to cope with and a challenging obstacle for you and your business to overcome.

The solution, says Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, a Cleveland- based education and training organization, is to become your customers’ “go-to informational source.” As he notes in a piece for Entrepreneur, “This type of quality storytelling can act like steroids for your search rankings and social media, as customers share with their networks.”

Pulizzi cites the success of Boulder, Colorado-based Copyblogger Media in the arena of content marketing. Copyblogger Media is in the business of selling software, but its daily blog posts also draw more than 200,000 regular subscribers. The company’s revenue growth “comes from having a loyal audience who will buy their products because they trust their content.”

Pulizzi offers six content marketing principles your company should live by.

Six Content Marketing Principles

  1. Fulfill a need. The content you provide should meet some need or answer a question for your customers. “It needs to be useful in some way to the customer,” regardless of what you offer by way of products or services. Sometimes content fills an emotional need – “take Coca-Cola or Red Bull’s storytelling, for example.”
  2. Remain consistent. Great content remains consist, no matter what platform it takes. “Whether you subscribe to a monthly magazine or daily email newsletter, the content is always delivered on-time and as expected.” This, Pulizzi notes, is where many companies drop the ball. In order to succeed in content marketing, “you must consistently deliver.
  3. Find your voice. The content you offer doesn’t have to meet some objective, journalistic standard. The truth is, “you have nothing holding you back from being you.” Find your voice in the content you provide. Does your company’s story have humorous elements? Don’t be afraid to share those. “If it’s a bit sarcastic, that’s okay, too.”
  4. Have a point-of-view. You’re not required to offer a “fair and balanced” view of trends in your industry. For example, Chipotle’s viral hit The Scarecrow has a distinct perspective – that processed food is inferior to locally sourced and responsibly produced food – and it’s not shy about proclaiming it. “Don’t be afraid to take sides on matters that can position you and your company as an expert,” Pulizzi advises.
  5. The less sales talk, the better! When Pulizzi’s company creates content about their products or services (“versus an educational post”), it rarely generates more than 25 percent of its typical page views and social shares. “The more you talk about yourself, the less people will share and spread your story.”
  6. Strive to be “The Best Of The Breed.” Make a commitment to distribute “the very best of what is available in your particular content niche.” It’s a simple equation, Pulizzi says. If you want your content to resonate with customers, “you must deliver amazing value.”

What commitment have you made to delivering expert content to your customers?