Content marketing is now an integral part of a marketing campaign. Advances in information and technology have made it possible for consumers to access and consume content easily and quickly. Entrepreneurs and business owners have also come to realize that they can never part with content marketing, especially now that competition is tighter than ever.
Neil Patel sums up content marketing as the process of creating and distributing valuable, high-quality, and relevant content to your target audience on a long-term basis.
Content marketing is essential; it’s a non-negotiable and presents a wonderful opportunity to get your brand out there, attract more customers, improve your bottom line, and increase your sales. There are also good reasons why most people say that “content is king.”
Where There Is Content Marketing, Content is Always King
In 1996, Bill Gates popularized the phrase “content is king.” As the founder of Microsoft, Gates had the foresight of the internet being a marketplace for content. Entrepreneurs have come to realize that they need to provide content that brings value to customers and not just content that promotes their brand, products, and services. Quality content should be useful, unique, and able to solve the customers’ needs or problems.
It is essential to create content that meets or even surpasses the expectations of your audience. In short, your content needs to be epic.
What is epic content?
Epic content is way above ordinary, mediocre content. According to Jeff Bulas, a world-renowned digital content marketing influencer, epic content must reinforce your brand, build brand loyalty, encourage brand awareness, and improve reputation. Bulas adds that epic content has a massive number of shares, provides actionable information, comprehensive, it’s evergreen, provides sustainable results, and positions you as a thought leader in your industry.
To achieve all these can seem to be a tall order for any web owner or marketer. You’ll have to put a lot of thought and effort into your content and make sure that it appeals to your customers or target audience.
Qualities of an Epic Content
Epic content is more than your standard content. It has to be exceptional, extraordinary, and superb. But what makes content genuinely epic? Here are the top qualities of really fantastic content.
- It embraces your audience’s loyalty. We see, go through, and consume content every day, but only epic content can make your audience stay and do business with you. That’s because epic content isn’t just about telling your audience why they should buy from you; it’s more on how they’ll benefit about using your product or availing your service. You emphasized their needs, rather than on your own.
- Epic content is utterly useful. Great content is invaluable that your audience begins to wonder how they’ve coped with their problem before finding your content. Looking back, they realize that they’ve struggled a lot, and seeing your content gave them a “eureka!” moment. It also goes to say that epic content is action-oriented, wherein it directs your audience to an actionable solution. They no longer wonder because they’ve found the answer.
- It’s as detailed as it can be. Details matter a lot in epic content. Details build up the context of your content, paints clearer imagery for your audience. It’s not very surprising when Buzzsumo found out that viral content often had more than 2,000 words in them.
- It’s stunningly unique. Expert marketers often liken epic content to a “purple cow.” Author Seth Godin popularized the metaphor “purple cow“, and he said that you have to be different is to be remarkable. Being the purple cow means standing out, being noticeable and exciting. All of these qualities apply to what an epic content must be. The content must be remarkably useful and unique that the audience can’t help but get hooked on it. Even if everyone follows the trend tries to become the purple cow, your cow will always remain purple in a way that it’s remarkable to your audience.
- Epic content has visual appeal. The human brain is built to process visuals, so content that’s text alone might fall short on being labeled as epic. Visual content has a unique way of communicating with us. They make an overall content more interesting and remarkable. It also helps those beautiful visuals do an excellent job of explaining.
Benefits of Epic Content
The more that your content stands out, the better it is for your brand or business. According to Neil Patel, you don’t have to tell people that your content is epic. Your audience will read, see, and recognize valuable content. Epic content can prove to be an essential tool in propelling your business forward and the benefits of creating epic content are amazing.
Epic content captures the attention
Attention is an essential commodity in the digital world. Microsoft’s study found out that nowadays, a person’s average attention span is only eight seconds. That means you only have eight precious seconds to hook in your reader, and if the person deems your content isn’t worth his time, he will leave. So, don’t expect mediocre content to hold a person’s attention. Your content needs to be awesome from the very start for your reader to read its entirety.
Epic content makes you an “authority”
High-quality, well-researched, well-written content can make you appear an authority in the field. When people look for information, they always go to the experts. People want information they can trust, and they’ll most likely read your content because they know you know what you’re talking about.
Apart from being sought after by the larger audience, consistently churning out epic content makes you influential. With that influence, you can build upscale your image as someone worth asking or hearing from. Why do people interview Marie Kondo about organization, Martha Stewart about lifestyle or Brian Dean about SEO? It’s because these personalities have established their personal brands as an authority in their fields.
Epic content breeds loyalty
Brand loyalty is essential in retaining your customers and nurturing a healthy relationship with them. Your content is fundamental in breeding brand loyalty with your customers. By putting out epic content consistently, their trust in your brand increases. Your customers will not just remember your brand, but will also prefer it over the competition.
Epic Content Marketing: What Every Business Owner Should Know
Now that you know what makes content epic and why your brand needs it, you now need to understand what it takes to do a successful epic content marketing campaign. The most popular thought leader in epic content marketing is Joe Pulizzi, who is a content marketing specialist and strategist. Pulizzi wrote the book Epic Content Marketing: Tell The Unique Story Of Your Business To Break Through The Noise And Bring Customers To Your Door.
Pulizzi’s work on the field of content marketing has made significant impacts on thought leaders, webmasters, marketers, and business owners all around the world. Pulizzi also founded the Content Marketing Institute, which informs and educates people about the proven ways of creating epic content that drives sales, improves growth, and significantly increases your business’ potentials.
Pulizzi’s 6 Foundations for Epic Content Marketing: How To Tell A Different Story
Joe Pulizzi was able to establish himself as an authority and expert in his field, and that’s the reason why people stop to listen to what he’s got to say. Pulizzi has set the standard when it comes to epic content marketing. In his book, Pulizzi sums down epic content marketing into these six fundamental ideas:
Your content must fill a need your competitors can’t
When you create content, you must zero in on the “why.” Why are you writing this and who do you want to write this for? What purpose does it serve? According to Pulizzi, epic content must fill your audience’s needs. It must answer this question or solve the problem. That way, your content is deemed helpful and relevant, and your audience begins to trust you more.
It also helps to remember that content also fills the audience’s emotional needs. Does your content make the audience laugh or get them inspired? Filling the need in this aspect makes your content stand out.
Epic content is consistent
Many companies fail to deliver on their promises, which results in loss of trust, credibility, and sales. As an epic content creator, you must stay true to your promise. If you promised a weekly newsletter packed with relevant information in your industry, then it must be that kind of content your audience gets each week. You shouldn’t sacrifice quality. Epic content is high-quality content, and you should strive to attain the best quality possible at all times.
Epic content humanizes your brand
It’s easy to think that your content needs to sound professional for your brand to be perceived in the same way, however, Pulizzi disagrees. Epic content should have a human voice, because your audience and customers are, after all, humans.
Giving your brand its human voice through content is an essential way of engaging and capturing with your audience. What emotion does your content evoke? Is it humorous or sarcastic? Joyful and positive? Whatever tone of voice it is, your brand must sound how you want it to sound.
Epic content takes a stance
When the subject matter requires you to take a stand, take one. Don’t be afraid to show your audience what you believe in. When you take a stand, you’re also demonstrating willpower and commitment, and as such, positions you as an authority. Remember, your audience wants to know what you think, so make your stand crystal clear in your content.
Do not hard sell
As you wish to market your brand, you might be tempted to talk about what it does, what its features, and why it’s great. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work well with content marketing. Instead, you want to talk less about your product, service, or brand, and create content that people would be able to relate well.
Go back to principle number three, where you need to put a human voice to your content. You won’t connect with the pain points of your audience if you’re shoving your product to their faces. Instead, show empathy and compassion, be funny, be sarcastic. Whatever emotion or tone you use, your primary goal should be to show your audience you care.
Epic content is the best
There’s a reason why epic is synonymous with grand, legendary, and massive. Your content needs to have these qualities as well for it to be called epic. When you create epic content, you shouldn’t settle with anything less the best. You want to put out content that your audience will enjoy, something that they’ll relate with, and one that’s life-changing. Your content needs to have amazing value.
How To Create Epic Content: A Step-By-Step Guide On Content Marketing
Creating content of epic proportions may seem daunting, but a lot of people have done it, so there’s no reason why you can’t. It’s always essential to invest in your content marketing strategy because it will position your brand favorably even in the competitive business landscape. However, the type and quality you create will profoundly impact this goal.
If you’re ready to work some muscles, here are the steps in creating epic content.
Find epic ideas
Where does an epic content originate? From an epic idea, of course. Finding ideas for epic contents require some brainstorming and planning. After all, you want to create something amazing, useful, and relevant, so a re-hash of numerous topics you find on the web would hardly qualify it as epic.
Begin with a mission or an objective. What does your content want to achieve? Then you need to research the right topic. Look into the developing trends or spy into your competitor. Sneak into forums and comments to see what people are clamoring for. You should find content ideas that are popular among the audience but isn’t addressed in detail by your competitors. The idea is to create content that solves your audience’s problems or answers their questions in entirety, satiating the audience’s thirst for information.
Understand your audience
Next, you need to answer this question: to who do I serve this content, and what are their needs? In short, you need to identify your target audience.
Even if the whole goal of marketing is to improve your bottom line, make sales, and overall become successful, it shouldn’t this salesy when creating content. Remember, Joe Pulizzi thinks that epic content should touch base with humans and their emotions, so it’s important to put aside selling and focus on serving your audience’s needs.
There are various tools you can use to understand and analyze who your audience is. You can then segment them according to demographics, interests, and other factors. You may also consider creating individual personas for each segment so that your content can speak according to their personas.
Different segments have different needs and preferences. For instance, if a portion of your target audience is made up of seniors, you should write the content in a way they understand. If you’re offering a product or service that’s geared towards the youth, then you must deliver content that speaks their language. The bottom line is: know your audience and create content accordingly.
Know where your target audience is
A fantastically-created content can prove to be worthless if it doesn’t reach your target audience. It is, therefore, important to know where your audience is and then reach out to them in those platforms, whether it’s your blog, website, social media channels, forums, etc. It’s also essential to post your content during the times when your target audience is most active. Analytics tools should give you an idea of the types of content that get the most engagements, audience demographics, and the best time to post your content.
Write with the audience first, search engines second
It may be tempting to pepper your content with optimization strategies, so it appeals to search engines. However, you do not want to do this at the expense of losing your target audience. Remember that content marketing places the audience’s needs first, so your content must satisfy humans, not bots. When you do this, search engines like Google is likely to recognize your site as an excellent resource for that specific query, and would, therefore, improve your ranking. Satisfy user/search intent first, and then optimize your content. You’ll get the best of both worlds.
Epic content marketing may sound like an ambitious, difficult feat, but it’s one strategy that will set your brand apart from the competition. By studying how to create epic content and how epic content marketing works, your brand will stay ahead of its game and generate awesome results for your business.