4 tips for creating content that exceeds expectations

A few days ago, I was watching a rerun of Roger Ebert’s and Gene Siskel’s Sneak Previews. The two men were discussing influential movies of the 1970’s, which led to a discussion about the movie industry, public relations, and marketing. The two men referred to a movie that was supposed to showcase the near-death experience. What the movie was was pure hype. The movie industry did such a good job of promoting it that people went to see it only to be disappointed.

That’s nothing new; many films use the same strategies and tactics today. Other products, such as health food ones, do the same. They con people into believing the packaging. The product itself doesn’t live up to that packaging.

The lesson to be found in that type of marketing is one of avoidance. Such marketing does nothing for your business, and it does nothing for the marketing industry as a whole. The question is, how do you avoid the pitfalls of fake packaging and false advertising?

  1. Write the content first. I’m a fan of writing the content prior to crafting a title. Not every writer works that way, which is fine, but the expectations created by the title must be met by the content.
  2. Write more than you’ll need. It’s always easier to cut words than to add them. When you have to add words, it’s easy to fall prey to “filler words” that don’t add anything to your message.
  3. Avoid marketing keywords. Try to avoid popular marketing words, such as “unique” or “best” or “fabulous.” You can use those words, but only if your product or service actually is unique or the best.
  4. Show; don’t tell. Some of the best marketing shows rather than tells. Share a story. Why did one of your customers choose your product over another company’s?

Is your content meeting the expectations created by your titles? What can you do to improve your content and to meet expectations? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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