Online, text, visuals, and sound are our digital body language. Good copy, videos and podcasts are ways for business to be useful to customers and by providing value to become attractive to many. Which results in good through search rankings and social sharing.
People first need to believe, then they will support that belief in the way they behave — and may eventually become ambassadors on your behalf.
Inbound marketing, or pull — these are the inquiries you receive as a result of valuable content someone has seen/heard/read/used — outperforms outbound marketing when executed successfully. A few good pieces may be the best investment for a business and its brands.
Relationships become stronger over time when built upon benefits to the buyer. When we address our audience concerns, challenges, and opportunities, we help them see the value of what we provide to support them, in turn gaining trust with credibility, both of which build our authority.
Why have a content strategy?
Because it allows you to build an audience, attract customers through opt-in (vs. the old opt-out tactics), and create advocates on behalf of your business or brand. A strategy helps us stay the course as we help people connect with us based on their needs. So with the plan, there will be milestones, types of copy, visuals, and other formats to help customers go from where they are to where they want to be.
Marketers call this the customer's journey. People think of it in terms of degree of experience — for example, beginner, intermediate, advanced, and mastery with regard to using a product or service for type of experience we want to have — or type of use — for example, convenience, price, necessity, or luxury.
Which is why when we research the maximum value possible we can provide, we should consider where people are in terms of level, type of use, as well as context in which the conversation happens — what's likely going on in their heads (internal needs) as well as what they're materially trying to do (online search). The most common scenarios need to reflect this conversation or dance between the two types of needs, external and internal.
Social networks and media channels are platforms we can use to increase reach for our value proposition and message. Other companies own those platforms and may and do change the terms of connecting through them, which in turn changes the experience we can provide. When we pay to rent eyeballs and ears through TV, print, digital, and radio advertising and promotions, we cede part of the total experience to the context those media provide.
Because we are borrowing their audience to build ours. In many situations, this still means paying to interrupt programming. Even words from our sponsor navigates a fine interruption line. We may make the conversation possible, but if we're not thoughtful about how we insert ourselves into it, we're still outsiders.
Social media is a more direct path to customers and prospective customers. And after they allowed everyone to build their outposts, social networks have stepped in to run their business by requiring us to pay to increase our reach. Media or channels are mere tools, even when they have a big audience, it's not a straight line to building our own audience.
The best audience is the one we build by engaging in the conversation with customers, prospects, and communities.
That's why having a content strategy makes business sense.
Because copy, visuals, and to a certain degree sound are such an important aspect of a successful social media strategy, I created this page to help you see how it works by collecting a few posts written as series.
Future of content strategy for brands
Secrets of online content strategy
Where Blogs Are Going (Feed Sponsor)
For B2B companies and brands
Mapping your content to the buyer's cycle (transaction-based)
More brand content strategy
Having fun with content analysis
These 36 articles + 1 presentation should get you started in understanding the importance of having a brand content strategy for your online marketing.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.