The content (or marketing) angle is your brand’s unique perspective or opinion. Your content angle sets the tone for the entire piece and sets you apart from other organizations covering the same topic.
It’s not what you say, but how you say it. That’s the essence of content marketing — finding a unique way to deliver essential information in an interesting and informative way.
The angle should also be targeted to a specific buyer persona so the content is relevant and attracts people who will more likely become leads.
While there is an endless number of content angles, you can determine whether you’ve chosen the right angle for your message by asking the following questions:
1. Is your angle relatable?
If the angle of your piece is interesting not only to you but to your audience as well, you’re on the right track. Readers want something that’s relatable to their real-world experiences.
If you’re talking to grocers, for example, you probably don’t want to talk about race cars — unless you plan to tie it all back together via an analogy.
It’s much easier and more effective, though, to deliver your message to your audience in terms they understand, all so they can immediately see the value in your messaging.
2. Does your angle address your customer’s pain points?
When your readers invest their time in your content, it’s up to you to make it worth their while by offering them solutions to their problems. The right angle should address your market’s pain points (government regulation, narrow margins, etc.) to draw readers in before your marketing messaging shows how your solution will ease their burden. Follow this formula and readers will feel like they’re being rewarded. And who doesn’t like that?
3. Is it original?
Looking for a strong angle? Start with something you can’t find anywhere else. Purely aggregate content is easy to write; essentially it’s just reruns of the same tired stories making the rounds in the content marketing world, and that’s why it’s everywhere.
But there are more benefits to creating original content than just appealing to readers. “Fresh” content is also considered a Google ranking factor, so the more you post about industry news or update content to stay current, the likelier Google is to reward your content with a higher rank in search results.
Burnt out on ideas? Here are a few tips to add fresh topics to your editorial calendar:
- Stay up-to-date with the latest news in your industry by subscribing to your industry’s most important email newsletters and attending events. You may be able to summarize a new, complex document or provide insights that no one has yet published.
- Talk with employees in your organization who regularly communicate with customers. They’ll know their biggest pain points and may have ideas for content that will be useful to them. If possible, talk with customers directly to find what kinds of topics they haven’t been able to find from a Google search.
- Conduct keyword research. Using tools such as Ubersuggest, SEMrush, Keywords Everywhere and Answer the Public (just to name a few), search for a broad topic keyword, like “organic fruit,” and see what other related topics people are searching for.
4. Is it searchable?
Not every piece of content you create will be for the purpose of getting found in search engines, but it’s a valuable practice to help people find your business. As noted above, keyword research helps with finding original topics AND it’ll help find topics with opportunities to rank.
The above keyword tools display search volume and competition — look for keywords that are getting searched, but whose competition is low or moderate. Then look at the specific results for that query to see if you can create something new and better than the rest of the results on the first page.
5. Is it shareable?
Is your content something you could see your readers feeling excited to show their friends and/or professional networks? Readers won’t feel compelled to share content on a topic that presents the same, tired angle. That’s why it’s so important that your content is original and useful for your audience.
Measuring the content engagement of your posts (likes, comments, shares, etc.) is a good indicator of how valuable that content is to your followers. Use these metrics to help determine what types of topics and content formats best resonate with your audience.
Measuring your angles
Like a hanging photo, not every angle will be exactly perfect — it may need some adjustments. By measuring the performance of each piece of content, you’ll get a better idea of the type of content that your audience wants to read. Then, you can start seeing the results of content marketing.
For more information on how to measure the ROI of your content marketing, take a look at this infographic.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2016. It has been updated for clarity relevancy.