Author: Glenn Whitehead, M&a Creative Director
Content is one of those areas of modern business where everyone sees the need, but many aren’t meeting the expectations of their audience.
There are screens at the bus stop, in the cafe, next to the lift, in your pocket and potentially on your fridge. The modern phone itself has a dizzying array of opportunities to consume content through social channels and apps so how can we be sure we maintain a consistent brand message with all this diversity?
Content is King.
I’m sure everyone is familiar with Mr Gates’ quote where he draws parallels between the internet and the broadcast industry, touting that those creating content for the internet will have major problems finding where to store all their cash.
I believe in this with a slight caveat that it is only king if it means something the audience. If not, it’s a pawn.
The Medium is the Message
Another quote that gets a good run in blogs and around meeting rooms is Marshall McLuhan’s “The Medium is the Message” where he presents the idea that the way the content is delivered is as valuable as the content itself.
Basically, don’t put your entire catalogue in a web banner. You’re spending good money on something and I’m not buying.
Content value relies on knowing your audience well. Understanding how people prefer to consume the content you’re pushing is imperative to adding value. You should be all over the analytics for each piece and have an understanding when and why people are tuning in and out. These insights help immensely when you are in the planning stage to ensure you create the right types of content.
If your audience is time poor, don’t expect them to sit through a 10 minute video on the benefits of your product. They’ve probably looked at the duration on the interface and closed the window. If they are a mobile workforce on a variety of devices, make that your start point, not a widescreen monitor. Optimise for the audience and they’ll thank you for it.
I love ice cream but if you serve me ice cream in a broken cone, i’m not inviting you for ice cream anymore.
Create the perception that you are in tune with them delivering what they want the way they want to receive it. This builds trust and a positive brand image.
The Evolving Landscape
The rapid pace of change happening in the tech sector is officially your enemy. Your audience is prone to adopt and discard new technologies at the drop of a hat, making your job that bit harder. You need to move with them if you plan to maintain your new image.
You need to plan and plan hard to create a workflow that will be flexible while providing enough structure to enable you to deliver content effectively. Zoom out and take a look at the bigger picture. Having a sound strategy upfront will enable you to find ways of capitalising on the content at the point of creation, covering all your content channels with one investment.
The Rise of OmniChannel
Nowhere is the effect of content value more visible than in the retail industry. They are feverishly trying to meet the needs of the consumer by adopting omnichannel.
Excelling in the art of omni mean you’ve got your ducks in a row and you’re are delivering a consistent retail experience to your consumers across mobile, desktop, print, radio, television and your physical store.
I’d encourage the B2B marketing teams to keep a close eye on those brands owning the omnichannel experience. Learning from their hits and misses will make a great base for a multi-channel content strategy.
In a nutshell…
Enough pissing in the wind. Talk to your current audience and your prospective audiences and learn about them. Talk to them in a way that adds value and don’t add to the noise.
Your brand isn’t about you.