Content Matters. Really.
Posted on April 6, 2012 by Gregg Freishtat
Marketing is on the front edge of a massive transformation. Billions of dollars will shift from offline marketing (print, TV, radio, display, direct mail, and telemarketing) to online marketing (web sites, email, and social media). Of course, content always mattered. Online or off, what you say to consumers to convince them to buy your goods and services is content – and it matters. However, the shift from offline marketing to online changes everything with regard to content and how it’s used to drive business.
In offline marketing, repetition and frequency of marketing messages (content) were necessary and rewarded as solid marketing strategy. Getting a great commercial to run on TV with frequency, or an ad in the paper every Sunday, was the way to build brand, loyalty, then eventually revenues. This world has been turned upside down in the online world we now live in. When the same content is published over and over on your site, blog, Facebook pages, twitter account, or even an email campaign, you are not rewarded – you are punished. Indeed, Google’s new release of it's Panda algorithm explicitly punishes duplicate content. The reality is that how content is created and used online is very different and something sales and marketing organizations must figure out quickly. Inbound marketing, curation, and content marketing are the new buzzwords. But at the end of the day, it’s the content that matters.
Successful marketing solves a simple question: How do I turn my marketing spend into as much revenue as possible?
Answering this question is not black magic.
Online marketing boils down to spending money on the following five strategies:
- Social media
- Display ads
For these online marketing strategies to be effective, you need great content. Really. Think about it. Most of online marketing involves getting potential customers to your site. Once on your site, content determines whether or not you succeed in engaging and converting that visitor into a sale. Not just content about your product/service, but all content the online consumer has learned to expect. From information on your industry to trends and product reviews… any content the consumer might want to read prior to buying. After all, if you don’t have that content, your prospect can just hit the “back button” and find it somewhere else. You don’t want that. You need great content – and lots of it. Google has forever changed consumer’s expectations. Consumers know they can easily find anything online. The trick is to make your site the place your prospects find what they need to make that “Buy” decision. If you don’t, they will find it elsewhere and you lose a revenue opportunity.
In addition to having great content on your site, online marketing requires you to communicate to your prospects and customers where, and however, they want. Some prefer email while others like to engage in blog commentary. More and more want to engage through social media. Again – the repetition and frequency model of content won’t fly in any of these channels. Rather, you need great content to interest and engage with your prospects. Great content is more than brochure-ware or content specific to your product. Think about all the sites and content you consume prior to making a considered purchase online. That’s the content you need to be providing to your prospects to get them back to your site, or on the phone, or in your store, to buy.
At the end of the day, you need to be the place your prospects find all the information they want prior to purchase. And, as if that’s not daunting enough, you need to have compelling and interesting content that consumers want to receive, to get them to your site in the first place.
As I said. Content Matters. Really.