This post focuses on developing quality content as a primary component of an online marketing strategy. We take a step back from focusing on social networks and distribution channels for attracting a community and talk about ways businesses can look at new forms of content development.
Often during the initial planning stages of launching a website or a blog, the immediate pushback we hear is that a business owner “does not have time” to consistently create and maintain content. As the evolution of online marketing continues, we are stating flat out that time for content creation must be allotted to achieve any of the business objectives for that website. Whether using a content creation agency or personally handling the responsibility, a strategy for getting content to the website and, consequently, the search engines must be developed.
For those businesses where the content speaks to a particular niche audience, B2B businesses, for example, content development, will most likely fall to internal resources with possibly some outsourced help regarding production.
Businesses need to look for other forms of content outside the normal boundaries. For example, a business could look to develop a Wiki as part of their online presence, which would help provide educational information to their audience. A wiki can provide an evergreen form of content bringing collaborative resources together, so it doesn’t all fall to the company to deliver content. The growth of this Wiki constitutes a valuable asset for that company over time. Businesses have to think outside of their comfort zones regarding content!
Another opportunity for businesses is instructional videos. Low-cost episodes can be produced and distributed very simply online. They will help to break down specific barriers and comfort zones, allowing owners to speak directly to their target customers. Also, consider customer testimonials as rich media content for your site.
User-generated content (UGC) is a secret content development strategy right out in the open on the web. Consider a site like Joe’s Baseballist.com, where users are solicited to create videos themselves to tell about their relationship with the game of baseball. As these videos are produced and submitted, they can be distributed to various social networks such as the Baseballisms YouTube Channel, The Facebook Fan Page. The content becomes a part of the overall experience of visiting the website.
One factor to consider when developing content consistently is that our consumption habits have changed towards smaller-sized portions. If you have a lot to say, break that content up into tinier posts to increase the frequency of distribution (suitable for search engines, RSS subscribers, etc.) and maintain your audience’s attention for each position you submit.
We somehow morphed our conversation into PowerPoint presentations in front of an audience and some experiences regarding the Dos and Don’ts. The dont’s are obvious regarding reading from the slides and including tons of bullets and text on each slide. We point to Steve Jobs for using great slides and recommend the book Presentation Zen.
When the content has been appropriately developed, the next step is to determine the best networks to use for distribution. It does not make sense to work with clients on understanding the networks and how to participate in a complete inventory, and the creation strategy has not been completed.
How do you handle the task of content creation?