Content marketing is the process of using content to answer a question, solve a problem, meet a need, or fulfill a want that your intended audience may have. Even if you are writing a dry product description, you are still providing answers and information. While the world of content creation and marketing may seem a bit convoluted and complex, it actually isn't, and one of the first things you need to do is throw your content rules out the window.
Content rules exist in proliferation.
You are given advice and guidance on how to write, what to say, how to phrase it, who to write it for, and what style or format to use when you write. While those "rules" can help those who are looking for in-the-ballpark information on creating content and using it for marketing purposes, those content rules should not be considered written in stone or inviolate.
When it comes to content creation and doing so successfully, there is really only one hard-and-fast rule you need to live by: create content for your audience, not for yourself.
Imagine that you are looking for information on the Internet and you come across a blog or website with information on a moderately technical subject about which you are interested. You open the page and begin to read, only to discover that most of the information either doesn't apply to your particular situation or is filled with so much technical jargon that you'd need a dictionary to decipher it. People encounter this dilemma every day when they are looking for something online, and they do so because those who create the content don't really know how to do so. Why don't they know how to do so? Because they are following the wrong content rules!
Part of the content development process is to identify your audience.
Who are they, what do they want, how do they make decisions, and what will move them to enter your sales funnel? If you don't know these things, you simply cannot create content that will entice them to look further into whatever it is you are offering.
You can follow all the content rules that exist today and if you aren't making your audience the most important part of your content development process, you've already lost your marketing battle. The rules no longer apply, which is why you were supposed to throw them out the window when you started reading this.
Know your audience. Intimately. After you get to know them, then you can create content that they'll find engaging, appealing, informative, and - most of all - valuable. That's the only rule you really need to know.