Content is much more than just words and images, it is customer interaction, communication and helps a business retain customer loyalty.
Content can be placed into two main categories ‘created content’ and ‘curated content’. Created content is something you have created 100% and that you have 100% ownership of. Whilst created content is the best type of content it does require more resource to be able to create quality content.
Another type of content is ‘curated content’. Curated content is third-party content can use or share with a comment and industry opinion. Whilst using curated content can be really useful, involve fewer resource and can demonstrate your thought leadership in your industry, the downside is that you will not have 100% ownership of this content. One way to overcome the ownership issue is to have a guest contributor to your content, for example, guest blogger or even collaborate with a like-minded business that shares your idealism without being a direct competitor, this way you both get ownership of the content and this can create a real buzz around your brand.
Content is displayed in multiple formats which can include white paper, infographics, video, articles, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, ebooks, templates and webinars. These various types of content can be shared and distributed on a variety of digital platforms including Social Media channels, website, Spotify and specialist video platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. Of course, not all content is suitable for all-digital channels, for example, you wouldn’t place a white paper on Facebook as Facebook primarily has a B2C audience. You would, however, place a video on Facebook as well as YouTube. Be mindful of sound restrictions on certain Social Media sites if your content is in a video format. If the sound is imperative to the video for the user experience then make sure you tell the user to turn their sound on.
Good pieces of content can be used again and again and this is classed as Evergreen content. A good way to make sure your customers and potential customers are engaging in your content is to undergo a content audit. A content audit will look at your website and Social Media interactions and can even include Social Listening, forums and even surveys to see what people are saying about your business and your content. A content audit will ensure you are making the best use of time by producing content that works, revealing what types of content doesn’t work and set a plan from your key learnings. Depending on your business a content audit can be done monthly along with monthly reports to look at the results and plan ahead. At a minimum, a business should be looking at completing a content audit every 6 months.
So we have looked at the various different types of content and how you can share this content to your audience but what else can good quality content do for your business? Listed below are just some reasons why content really is key to marketing and business goals.
Creditability – Content gives your brand credibility in terms of the rich quality content you provide. Whether it is the content on your website, blogs or Social Media the content you provide to the user must be relevant, valuable and consistent. Customers build a relationship with your company and invest in the information you are providing, thereby provoking an emotion. The content you put out there must speak to the audience and gain their trust as well provide a solution to their problem or need.
Customer Loyalty – Why are customers loyal to a particular brand or business? Content plays a big part in customer retention as customers will feel they are getting value for money. If you provide hints and tips on your Social Media, for example, then the customer will feel like they are getting something for free and valued. This will, in turn, encourage customers to invest their time in your business whether it is through Social Media interaction or by repeat purchase of goods or services.
Adds Value – Customers and future customers will visit your website and Social Media for various reasons, but one of the main reasons is to get something from you. The customer will want to get the answers to their questions, whether it is to look at your services and what you can do for them, or to generally research you. Good, entertaining and enriched content will help sway the user’s decision and an entertaining video, good quality images or an informative blog can add value to the user’s experience and in turn add value to your brand.
Improves SEO – SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can be a minefield and it is something that as a business we all want to improve. Good quality content is a major factor in improving your SEO rankings; it not just about keywords although optimising your content to include keywords will also help but a good solid blog or solid piece of the content will be picked up by search engines and will improve your SEO.
Whatever format you choose to display your content you want the user to engage with it. You want them to see your brand, your expertise in the field, the value you can provide and the why. Can you provide a solution to a problem or customer need? After engaging with your content has it signposted the user to take a call to action? For example, if you have posted a blog on Social Media, did the content leave the user wanting to find out more about your business and if you could potentially have the solution for their problem at that time. The user may then decide to visit your website or store to look at your services or goods and choose to contact you or even buy.
So does your content offer value, provide something unique and deliver substance for the user? Remember content is more than just words and images, content is king!