Why is everyone constantly harping about content? And why should I care, much less invest the time and resources of my team on it? Content is such a pain – we have to create more of it every week, when will it ever end?
We hear these these types of questions every day.
Content is what engages, entertains and delights folks online. If you want people to take your brand and business seriously online, you’ll need to get into the content business in a serious way.
Some may be lucky if their online competition has not yet woken up to what’s required to attract and hold their audience online, but this increasingly is not the case. After all, 60% of what people do online is “research” and almost 80% of all searches start with someone typing search terms (keywords) into a search engine. Are your products or services being found? Is your business discoverable?
Being discoverable brings traffic (prospects) to your website. These visitors translate to sales and that revenue to profits, but not if there is nothing there to attract them in the first place – or to hold their interest once they’ve arrived. So yes, there’s a reason everyone keeps talking about content.
At least not any more. “Content” has evolved way past words on a page. Rich media (now an old school term) includes not just images and videos. Today’s content arsenal includes eBooks, blog posts, social media posts, infographics, audio, emails, ads, downloadable PDF’s and much, much more. Virtually anything that can be stored in digital format and displayed or shared online is content.
One of the often misunderstood concepts is that once your business has set up its flashy new website, complete with a Blog and a few posts, the work is done. In fact, nothing could be farther from today’s online reality.
Fresh content is the lifeblood of content marketing and search rankings (discoverability) on the search engines and, most importantly, engaging your prospects. In fact, not only must you match (or exceed) the quantity and depth of content that your online competitors produce, you also need to be aware of the “cadence” with which they publish their new content.
The search engines are also keeping track of how frequently your content is updated, who reads it, whether they’re impressed enough with it to link to it or share it. In fact, you’re business is getting what amounts to a continuous report card on how good your online content is and the search engines are calculating the grades. Only if it’s good enough and authoritative enough will your business edge up in the rankings. So yes, content is a serious game.
Perhaps the most rapidly evolving and changing segment of the content game is the social media aspect. Social media platforms have distinct characteristics in terms of the audiences they attract, their etiquette, how they react to different kinds of content, how content needs to be presented, etc. And oh, yes, you also need to respond when people start reaching out in response to your content.
Actually, this is a really good thing. How often does your business get that type of direct access to prospective and existing customers? Probably not something to delegate to the summer intern, for sure.