Did you know the phrase, “content is king” was used by Bill Gates way back in the 1990s? Isn’t it interesting that 15 years later, we’re still talking about it as if it’s a new phenomenon? Well it isn’t.
In 2015, marketing prognosticators think content will be bigger than ever, which is why companies have to get in the game and stay in it for the long-haul. In creating marketing content, consider these key factors:
- The clarity and significance of your messages. What is it that buyers (whether consumers or businesses) want to know? What problems do you solve for your target audiences? What distinguishes you from the competition? What are the benefits, not the features, of your product or service? Why should people buy from you? What does your brand say? In other words, develop content messaging that is customer-centric, creates a positive image, and builds trust.
- The frequency of your communications. Everyone knows that one ad, one direct mail piece and one email blast is not a campaign. In marketing, many professionals rely on the rule of seven. This rule says prospects and customers need to hear and see your content message at least seven times before making a positive buying decision. While the number seven might not be completely accurate or scientific, the point is: repetition builds trust. Another factor that impacts frequency of communications is the size, maturity and profile of the audience you are trying to reach. If the industry is well-established and small, it is not as essential to have daily or weekly communications with buyers. However, if you are in retail or in a growing or emerging market segment, the need for frequency increases. Bottom line: determine what you can afford in terms of resources—time, money and personnel—and create a marketing communications calendar that you follow religiously.
- The right medium. There are many ways to reach your target audiences. Find out what they read, what they listen to, what they watch on traditional as well as social media. For retail products, advertising in consumer magazines, on television or using billboards might be a strong preference. On the other hand, B2B products and services might generate more interest by producing content for the industry’s trade magazines or white papers and success stories for the company’s website.
Communicating Through Content
Whether a company communicates through blogs, press releases, white papers, success stories, articles, advertisements, signage, tradeshows, webinars, videos or a host of other formats, it is essential to produce content that answers the question, “What will it do for me?” Taking the time to create the right messaging, delivering it at the right time, through the right medium goes a long way to support the sales efforts and achieve corporate growth goals. It is through these activities that companies gain the name recognition, marketplace visibility and earned credibility they seek.