3 Thoughts On Content Strategy
Entertain, inform, or shut up.
Content means something different to everyone on the internet; unfortunately, it means something pretty similar to all the online marketers. To us, it’s a trend, it’s a way to get eyeballs where we want them and clicks where they’re worth the most. Your typical Internet user is disinterested– at best, agnostic– towards “content”. They probably don’t even like hearing the term, because to them, content isn’t “content”. It’s not something they need a daily dose of and know by name, but a seemingly endless array of information and experience that others have put on the Internet. It’s a term so vague that it only holds meaning to those using it as a tool: businesses.
People don’t want content, they want entertainment and information. Businesses walk a fine line when they begin spewing information online: it can be engaging, it can be a waste of resources, or it can make the company look bad. Because content is so intimately tied to image and branding, businesses have to be incredibly self-aware with what they post, constantly asking questions like “Who are we trying to reach?”, “What are they looking for?”, and “How do we address that need?”
Everything is content, but your content shouldn’t be everything.
Turns out, some businesses have a lot to say. It has become the norm for companies’ profiles to espouse opinions, have interests, and speak directly to customers. This isn’t news. What’s bizarre about it is that people grow and change while most brands are relatively stagnant. Keeping interest and engaging people is tough when your only goal on social media is plug your product or service, which is why brands often turn to outside content creators to flesh out their page. If BP posts a captioned photo from an employee, it’s no longer just BP speaking, it’s a real person influencing the brand in a subtle way. The same goes for retweets, reposts, repins, shares, re-anything: the company is not solely responsible for the material, but instead endorses it. In this way, content enables brands to take a variety of approaches to speaking to their customers.
Establish your brand as a subject matter expert.
The reason you’re in business is because you choose to do something that other people would rather not do. You provide a product or service that people find to be more valuable than the amount you’re charging for it. They do so because of your business’s characteristics: customer service, product quality, value, and more. If you can provide those three things consistently, an astronomical number of people will want to hear about it. If you don’t have unique knowledge or experience in your profession, your competition does. If you do, people want to learn from you(r business.)
Everyone wants to know how Warren Buffett consistently beats the market, how Jeff Bezos of Amazon manages to outcompete basically everyone, and how Kanye West somehow produces music that’s both unique and ubiquitous. These people are experts in their fields and have success to show for it. Your company is good at something. If it’s going to be great, it needs to be the best in the world at doing that, and only that. Your product and service reflect how good you and your business are. Your content should do the same.
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