Content is King. Content is King. Content is King. Yes, we’ve all had this pounded into our heads. But, do you really understand why? As a communicator and marketer, I hear or read it at least weekly. It’s become a prevalent expression to communicate just how important content, a piece of your owned media, is to your marketing mix. It’s always in the back of my head as I’m developing strategy and marketing plans for our clients. The reason it’s always on my mind is, whether I like the saying or not: it’s true. There’s nothing quite like content, good content that is, and here’s why:
Content Centers Around the Customer - This is the biggie, folks. Your content should focus on answering your customers questions (whether they knew they had them or not); solving their problems; addressing their needs; and making your team, product or service, and brand relatable to them. It’s not littered with your company name from top-to-bottom and it doesn’t include marketing or sales lingo about why you are the best or why they should hire you. It’s about adding something to their life or making it easier. This type of content builds trust, relationships and brand loyalty.
Control – You have complete control over your message, and that message can speak to the heart of your customers’ experiences and needs. You are not tailoring your message to a reporter’s request, limited to a certain ad space, or charged more for additional words. If Facebook or all media outlets disappeared tomorrow, you’d still have your content. Most importantly, you can tell stories and develop ideas that connect you and your brand to potential and existing customers.
Reach – Good content that is relatable, answers questions or addresses needs can reach people quicker and farther than other forms of media. Search engines have advanced algorithms that pull information from your site to rank your pages in various search queries. With keyword research and strategy, owned media can help your site land on the first page of these search queries. Secondly, social media is a perfect place to push your own content to your existing community and for potential customers to learn about your offerings and engage with your content. If there’s strong interest in what you’re sharing, your reach will grow and grow, potentially putting you in front of thousands or millions of people who will be learning about your brand.
Owned Media Leads to Earned Media – When you have a strong content strategy, are sharing that content on social media and with traditional media outlets, and pushing visitors back to your web site, journalists and influencers take notice. Alternatively, if you’re in the beginning stages of this process, and you are working hard to pitch and secure media opportunities, having owned content you can offer as credibility and a resource can lead to your brand or spokesperson being included in earned media opportunities. According to the 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, 71% people said they completely or somewhat trust earned media, the highest of all channels included in the survey. Earned media creates credibility, establishes your brand and/or spokesperson as a thought leader, drives web site traffic, and can increase lead and conversion rates. Owned media can be one of the most important tools in your box to support earned media efforts and make differentiate you from competitors.
Cost Efficiency – In the overall scheme of marketing costs, owned media is relatively cost efficient. The main cost is for someone to consistently develop ideas, write and edit content, analyze the results, tie the information back to ROI, and manage the overall process. This can be someone in-house who is already on your payroll - like a topic expert or marketing specialist - or you can hire a team to manage your entire content program. At Hinge Studio, keeping in mind strategic business goals and budget, we encourage and work with our clients to find the right mix of internal input and support from our firm. The advantage of hiring a team is that you get a skilled, efficient team that makes your program their number one priority. They aren’t being pulled in other directions because of other job tasks or responsibilities, and they have a process in place to pump out valuable information to your customers and tie the results back to ROI.
Content can grow everything from brand awareness to leads to revenue. If you don’t have a content program in place, it’s time to recognize Content is King and start planning.