These six rules are originally from Michael Stelzner and are presented by Martin Zwilling @StartupPro in the light of how to build an online message.
They are well thought through and doubtless a good guide online but I was struck by the similarlity to the guidelines we issued when I used to work in the (bricks and mortar) conference industry. In particular, the final point about sales. We went to enormous lengths to get interesting speakers and it was really depressing how often companies would turn up and deliver a sales pitch.
The ridiculous thing was how counter-productive the pitch was. People got really angry when they had made time to learn about a subject and were then subjected to a sales message.
I suppose it's not surprising that the rules are the same online but the conference experience does underscore how delivering value to your audience is far more important than trying to force a sale.
Highly relevant. To get to the core of what’s relevant to customers, you need to know them well. Use your content as a way to make a connection between your business and things that matter to them. The more frequently you can deliver content that meets the needs and desires of your customers, the more relevant you will become to them. Educational. Helping customers discover new ways to solve common problems can quickly build you a loyal following. Your content must continue to deliver new ideas. In simple terms, this is where you share your knowledge, as well as the guidance from other experts, for free. Easy to digest. A conversational tone should be the basis for all of your content. Highly relevant and educational content if irrelevant if you can’t make it easy for people to understand. Common approaches include the use of metaphors, tell stories, and always stay on topic. Visually appealing. The eye is just as important as the mind when it comes to customers. The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still alive and relevant. Make sure your paragraphs are short. Use callouts and bullets to help the reader speed through your content. Conversation inviting. Great content is conversation. If you want to connect with customers, put aside your writing formalities. Your language doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s pretty simple to do. Simply speak out loud. Then write it down. The message should spark a side conversation between friends, and a follow-up comment to you. Lacks a sales angle. Great content shouldn’t have any obvious marketing messages or sales pitches embedded inside of it. If your content is about your specific product or service, that’s not great content; it’s marketing collateral. People won’t flock to marketing materials.