I was asked to put the case for content at a recent Digital Balloon Debate organised by Jay Cooper of Digital Lounge. The subject under discussion was the importance of content, email, search and mobile in digital marketing. As it turned out I never made the debate, but the following arguments for the pre-eminence of content were put on my behalf by Natasha Jackson. Apparently Content won the day, although that probably had more to do with Natasha’s powers of persuasion than my insight.
Anyway, maybe these will help you make the case for content to colleagues that haven’t quite got it yet.
Content = Value
It’s not often that creative delivers any long-term value. It might entertain; It might show me what I can buy or even where I can buy it; but at the point of delivery, I get nothing concrete. Content delivers immediate value, information I can use, remember, and share. It’s my reward for reading and I will value the individual or organization that gave it to me.
Content = Context
Marketing is not just about gaining customer attention; it’s about keeping it. Good creative will win attention for you, but only good content can keep it. Content offers the opportunity to discuss a problem or an opportunity in detail. Good advertising placed alongside strong content can be seen by customers as relevant to the discussion, creating a positive context for customers to act.
Content = Credibility
Good content builds credibility. It offers the opportunity to associate brands with the ideas of experts and opinion leaders. It forms a trusted resource that people turn to when they need help or inspiration. It communicates solutions that reflect positively on the product or services promoted alongside it. Good content gets bound into the decision making process, delivering credibility to marketers by association.
Content = Affinity
Content can make me laugh, make me think, make me better at what I do. Through content I can let you know that I understand you and you can start to believe that I know exactly what you need. A well-balanced content package builds affinity, addressing customers’ concerns and aspirations over time. Clever marketers can tie into the customer’s affinity for the content and transfer it to what they are promoting.
Content = Community
The digital world has just discovered community, but the best content producers have been cultivating a sense of community amongst their customers in print for many, many years. Content is the focus for community, with carefully crafted ideas and opinions generating comment and response. Customers contribute to the debate and become engaged, hopefully long enough for clever marketers to reach them effectively.