Having BADASS content is not the same as having epic content. It’s content that has cracked “the code.”
I was fortunate enough to get to see a preview of Mark Schaefer’s Content Code SXSW presentation in March at an INBOUND Conference in Atlanta. This is based off his new book, The Content Code, which I highly suggest you pick up and read.
Content is what makes up the web (duh). Data is looking to increase by 500% by 2020 and 75% of the information on the web is created by users themselves. Mark stated that content “isn’t the finish line – it’s the starting line.”
In order for your content, which needs to be good, to really take off, it needs to be BADASS. Or have the 6 elements that make up BADASS.
Your brand should aspire to be heroic. Not Superman or Captain America heroic, but a brand that is trusted. Trust builds heroic brands. To build a heroic brand, you need 3 things: congruency, consistency & work ethic and service. This will take work, so be prepared. It won’t happen overnight and it may not happen this year. Building your brand is important – it’s you. How are you relating and interacting with people? Are you being honest? Transparent? Build the relationship and you’ll build the brand at the same time.
Audience & Influencers
The Alpha Audience. We all have one. These are your “elite” followers – the ones who always share your content, always comment, are always there to give an opinion when asked. Your Alpha Audience is the most loyal members of your community. They do more than just retweet your articles, they interact with it. These guys are 250% more likely to share your content (according to Google). This group of people is who you need to focus on. I’ve always said quality over quantity and this is where the rubber meets the road. It doesn’t matter how large your following is – find your Alpha Audience members and love on them.
Distribution, Advertising, Promotion & SEO
According to Mark in the book, “distribution is one of the most overlooked components of the Content Code and yet an opportunity brimming with potential.” He talks about Mitch Joel, who is the president of Mirum. Mitch had been blogging over 10 years, wrote over 4,000 articles yet found it hard to get new readers to his site. He then branched out and started taking quality content to platforms like Huffington Post, INC Magazine, Harvard Business Review, etc. As a result he saw an uptick in traffic back to his site. Breaking out of the cycle and distributing content on other sites (earned media) is not only a powerful validation but an effective way to market yourself and your business.
I’ve written dozens of articles about advertising online. I feel it’s a necessity now because of the sheer amount of content on the web. Find what works and gets the best results and roll with it. Promotion and SEO also play parts in attracting people to your content – it all has to start with great, quality content. Fluff won’t cut it.
We all want to be the authority in our field, yet this is one element we cannot control. We cannot make people search us or read us. Whereas we cannot control this like we can control other elements of our business, in the book Mark gave us a few factors that play into authority so we know how to leverage them –
- The number, quality, and relevance of incoming links.
- The age of your domain.
- The size of your website.
- The number and quality of outgoing links.
- Indicators of spam.
- Link diversity.
- Anchor text diversity.
- Site speed.
- Temporary versus long-term traffic to your site.
- Accumulated page value.
If you want to see his suggestions for each, you’ll need to read the book. To build authority you have to start out with quality content and have a plan for link-building and distribution.
“Shareability” embedded into each piece of content
You have to give people a reason to share your content. Did you know that the average Twitter user retweets only 1 in 318 content links they receive in their Twitter feed? When someone shares your content, it’s a compliment. People tend to share content because of, one, self-identity – it says something about them; two – an act of generosity or kindness; three – a symbol of love and support (awww). Quality content will get shared as long as you give them a reason to.
Social proof & social signals
Social proof is seeing the number of share a piece of content got. Are you more like to read and share an article with 5 retweets or 500? This type of proof validates, in a sense, your content. It says “Hey! Look at this – people love it so it must be good!” In the book Mark states that “social proof is also a more important factor of influence online versus offline because our choices are public.” When the whole world can see what you are doing, you are more picky in what you actually do.
There’s a lot to being BADASS. I know I’ve mentioned the book several times already, but Mark has laid out a plan for you ignite your content and all you need to do is read the book. I personally can’t wait to take some of the piece and start using them for my business.
Is your content BADASS? What area(s) do you think you need to work on to get it there?
This article originally appeared on the ME Marketing blog and has been republished with permission.
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