December 11, 2015
The web is saturated with piles upon piles of content. When it comes to creating content that will not only capture the attention of readers, but will also inspire them to backlink to your content, it can be difficult to set your content apart.
One of the most often repeated nuggets of advice from content marketers lately has been that excellent content must provide practical value to readers. This is absolutely true in many cases, but it’s not the end of the story. After all, one quick click over to Buzzfeed will yield pages and pages of content that is sensational, weird, hilarious, and completely void of practical value – and this content gets thousands of shares and backlinks.
Content that is exceptional – meaning content that sets itself apart from the mounds of other content as clickworthy and noteworthy – displays at least two and, at best, all four elements of PEAC content. PEAC. stands for content that offers practical value, is entertaining, is awe-inspiring and is credible. This means that even if a piece of content doesn’t demonstrate practical value, it can still garner interest by being entertaining, awe-inspiring and/or credible.
Content that offers practical value rejects the practice of creating content for the sake of content by actually saying something useful. Content with practical value will give readers tips, insights and tactics to apply to their own lives. For this kind of content, avoid writing that is stilted by too much self-promotion or blatant sponsorship. The value the content offers the reader should be at the forefront.
Content offering practical value will, in most cases, demonstrate credibility as well by using case studies, personal examples, and references to other resources. Take, for example, this post on Neil Patel’s blog about fighting and preventing negative SEO.
Let’s face it, who doesn’t love funny animal videos? They make us laugh, sigh and coo. They’re not practical but they’re great so we don’t care. That being said, there is a lot of entertaining content out there that quickly disappears in the mix. What content of this sort needs to stand out is exceptional is to combine entertainment with one of the other elements of PEAC content.
Popular entertaining content generally also inspire awe in some way, or find an entertaining way to present practical value. These other elements feed into the entertainment of a piece of content. Take, for example, the Photoshop tutorial series You Suck At Photoshop, which combines humor with practical instruction.
Sometimes, you come across content that makes your jaw drop. Different things can feed your awe–a contentious title, an amazing header photo, unusual tone or language, and, of course, an awe-inspiring topic.
Awe-inspiring content makes you go “Wow!” Surprising statistics are an effective way to inspire awe while also demonstrating credibility. Awe-inspiring content is usually also entertaining, like that video of the brave cat standing up to the alligator.
In order for content to be taken seriously, there needs needs to be indicators that your sources and opinions are credible. Using strong research, concrete proof and examples, and crediting your sources properly will give your content more authority. Establishing yourself as a trustworthy and authoritative source will bring people back to your content again and again.
Take, for example, this study Venngage did on how to best get your infographic to succeed on Pinterest.
Ideally, you want your content to hit all four elements of PEAC. content. By aiming to achieve at least two elements, you will be able to set your content apart from competing textual and visual content.
Here is an infographic that summarizes PEAC content.
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