Readers want - and even need - content that has a point of view and provides advice.
One of the hallmarks of good journalism is objectivity. This is decidedly not true in brand journalism. The key to developing compelling content marketing that interests readers and drives traffic is having a distinct point of view.
In J-school, we were taught to tell both sides of the story, and to stay neutral. The only formats in which we were permitted to interject opinion were editorials or columns.
But now that everyone is a publisher, opinion matters more. Buyers are awash in content, and it’s tough to discern who is credible and authoritative on a particular subject. Readers are required to make a judgment call each time they click on a link. Who will they trust?
In fact, buyers are more often looking for opinions from experts rather than straight-lined facts. They’re trying to make a decision about how to solve a problem, and they need help. Analysis and assessment – which are only possible if you’re an expert on a topic – are extremely valuable to a novice who wants to know what to do. Most are looking for the quick solution, because they don’t have the time, experience, or motivation to develop the expertise themselves.
Good content marketing not only lays out the facts, but also provides advice. To keep your potential customers coming back, you need to share your viewpoint on the best way to solve their problem.
It’s one of the reasons that I turn to experts like the Nutrition Diva for healthy eating tips – not only does she have awesome credibility, but she always conveys a point of view about what works and what doesn’t.
When creating content, don’t leave it to your readers to decide what the facts mean.
"So do any of these ab machines actually work? The short answer is: yes – but much less than you think.”
His opinion is based on an assessment of the facts and his own experience. After evaluating two research studies and observing the success of his clients, he offered his readers his point of view, and discussed why.
So when creating content, don’t leave it to your readers to decide what the facts mean. They won’t find it helpful if you’re overly objective.
Of course, use facts to back up your opinion, but by all means, share your point of view! Tell your reader how they can BEST solve their problem.