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Have you had your R.I.C.E. today? A content marketing prescription.

A Content Marketing Prescription

Have you ever sprained your ankle? The automatic medical response calls for R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression and elevation), a variety of simple elements to insure a speedy recovery.

There's a similar prescription for content marketing. The challenge of creating effective content also depends upon a combination of health-boosting elements for success. Without them, one's marketing message can be lop-sided, inarticulate and even worse, unread.

With the right combination of best practices, content marketing can effectively connect consumers to brands and encourage continued engagement. It can heal missteps and build healthy relationships. All you need is a little content R.I.C.E. of your own:

Without research, you have no credibility. While writers can be tempted to jump into content creation, it's essential that before you say something you know what you're talking about.

TIP: Use content curation tools to help cull the information you need for your unique pieces. Websites such as Scoop.It! and StumbleUpon can help you collect any pertinent information relevant to your topic - and you can build a resource library that will come in handy time and time again.

Every writer needs it, but how can you find it? Think about how much content is on the web - it's enough to boggle your creative mind. Check out these daily stats from 2010 (Content Strategist):

TIP: Find an image that can give your topic a metaphoric association. For example, if you're writing about staying ahead of the competition, look for camel racing photos and then incorporate the ideas of innovating, racing and winning into how you think about your topic. You'll be surprised at how your content will take on a special readability.

Here's where the fun begins. Instead of looking at a blank page and wondering how you will fill it up, think of it as a place to summarize all the things you could say but don't have to.

TIP: Keep your content between 500 and 800 words, using active language to bring your ideas alive. Choose a writing style (humorous or provocative, for example) that is appropriate for your topic, yet engaging for your reader.

Do you have favorite writers of your own? Keep their work close at hand to give your creativity a jump start.

Editing is one of the most important parts of the prescription that content creators can't afford to overlook. After spell checking your document more than once, take a look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. If you don't have a partner to do it for you, take a break and come back later for a second look.

TIP: Make a grid of criteria to check off after each draft is completed with such questions as:

  • Research
  • Inspiration
  • 140 million tweets
  • 1.6 million blog posts
  • 1.5 billion pieces of content created on Facebook
  • 2 million videos uploaded on Youtube
  • Creation
  • Editing
  • Are my paragraphs broken into a readable format?
  • Do I have two to three clickable links to different pages on my website?
  • Have I included a compelling image?
  • Did I vary my sentence structure?

After checking all these elements, ask yourself the most important question of all: Did I motivate my reader to act?

With a nifty piece of content ready to go, determine how you will share it. You can use press release distribution services that will send your content to the ideal outlets - but don't stop there. Include your releases on your website and incorporate them into your blog posts and tweets, as well.

When all is said and done, you'll have a valuable addition to your content library - one that will reach far beyond the first place it's published. Be sure to visit your old content regularly. You're bound to find fresh inspiration which will help you add some new R.I.C.E. to your content marketing.

Do you need more content creation ideas? Check out these additional press release tips to produce high performing content.

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