What’s the number one rule of content marketing in one word?

Several months back, Rey from Inbound Marketers – For Marketing Professionals on LinkedIn asked the question: “What is the number one rule of content marketing? and many people in that group responded with all the usual suspects like:•    Relevancy
•    Must be compelling
•    Remarkable content
•    Address the needs of the reader; it’s not about you
•    Use of keywords and key phrases
•    Current content
•    Visuals
•    Solves a problem
•    Authenticity

Initially I said..
The number one rule in content marketing (See Rule number 5, after reading Rules 1-4)

1.    Findable (Easily Searchable)
2.    Timely (anchored to a current event when it’s most likely to be found)
3.    Relevance (answers specific questions, expands discourse, stimulates discovery)
4.   Creates appearance of thought leadership and credibility
5.    Paying attention to rules 1- 4 should be the number 1 rule

But then Rey reiterated that although each rule was valid, he wanted everyone in the group to come up with their most probable suspect, so my choice was…..RELEVANCE (actually content must and should be contextually relevant to the various buyer personas looking for it or else it’s just static interference competing for their attention, a loosing proposition if your content is perceived as background interference and therefore indiscernible from competing discourse. People look for answers that meet their needs, answers their questions and confirms or corrects their initial thoughts on the matter.

Content should and must be relevant to existing trends, discussions and events. Relevancy is absolutely necessary because human nature demands relevancy out of our everyday existence (we even try to make sense out of the senseless but at the least it has to be relevant to individual buyer personas (aka your brand’s target audience) and because of the lack of hours in a day and the amount of time any of us can devote to any one type of subject matter at any one point in time, we must delegate our time according to our priorities and therefore relevance to our immediate and long term needs everything else is just static interference to be ignored and in today’s information overloaded environment, we humans have become very adept and blocking out the static interference or irrelevant and useless information. So yes, relevancy is a major factor in our decision process as to what content we will digest first otherwise, there is just too much going on for us to pay attention.

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