Considering that more than two thirds of the business cycle occurs before first contacts are made today, keeping up with content should be an anchor business objective.
Often referred to as content marketing, strategic content development is a hotter than hot commodity these days. There’s a reason why the job market is flooded with calls for General Publishers, Content Managers, and New Media Strategists. Still, it’s hard for many sales and bottom line mindsets to get behind the give-first-get-second mentality that digital content thrives on.
Companies often struggle with dedicating themselves to producing content citing time, money and staffing as their biggest obstacles. True, (quality) content takes time, but the pay offs far outweigh the effort and costs. Here, are eight reasons why:
#1 Content Ignites Search
For every blog, video, podcast, web page and file you publish, you get the benefit of another URL. This also goes for the posts, shares and comments you may make on social networks and other websites.
Multiple URLs render companies, business owners, executives, managers, employees, professionals, job seekers and even students more findable. Why wouldn’t you want your widget ranked above all the rest?
# 2 Content is Currency
One well positioned blog post to a large group on LinkedIn has the potential of reaching hundreds of thousands of eyes – thrice: once on the group page, once as a line item link emailed to each group member and as a non expiring search listing.
For every blog, SlideShare, video, podcast and post/share/comment you deposit, you can earn multiple marketing opportunities in return.
#3 Content Promotes Impression
A loose interpretation of Newton’s Law resonates in everything we read, watch and/or listen to: for every action there is a reaction. We may share, learn, recommend, review, maybe even protest or ignore completely, but we react to scads of content daily.
For every piece of content, there is an impression of some sort. Think: Any PR is good PR.
#4 Content is Advertising (but better)
Content is advertising; it informs, educates and promotes. Isn’t that what advertising is all about? The glaring difference between advertising and content is its lifeline. Freely posted content stays published (and searchable) forever on the web. Paid placement goes away – eventually.
Paid advertising also doesn’t allow the hands on freedom to expand or modify your copy and placement either – unless you want to pay more for the luxury of doing so.
#5 Content Courts Collaterals
Companies often forget/neglect to share their entire collateral collection with their networks. Brochures, operation manuals, training guides, white papers, sales flyers, press releases, media kits and more can all be purposed as content for digital distribution. Rule of Thumb: Always slice and dice large files into smaller digestible pieces.
#6 Content is Recyclable
Smart content abides by a simple principle: one piece of content can be worth a thousand words. A press release can be rewritten as a blog. A blog can be revised as a slide share. A slide share can be retooled as one page tip or cheat sheets. When you have something to say, say it in as many ways as possible – and then post every opportunity across your target channels and networks.
#7 Content Spurns Sales
Like it or not, social selling remains a dominant trend. Companies and professionals who present themselves online as news sources, educators, experts and problem solvers, habitually publish fresh content.
Online networking also depends upon quality content for effective sharing and engagement. Content helps garnish awareness, credibility and growth.
#8 Content is Portable
Yes, it really is all about “mobile”. Whether you’re working at Starbucks with your laptop, surfing sales with your smart phone or reading eBooks on your tablet, content goes with us wherever we go 24/7. The bottom line is: anytime, anywhere, anyone may be reading your content.
Last week news broke of a 70 million dollar account secured by a Morgan Stanley Advisor on LinkedIn who joined the company’s social media program and diligently worked to become a “knowledgeable leader” in the market space.
The story is a testament to how content can be used as marketing currency, to support brand, credibility and business growth. Companies and professionals can boost their search rankings, notoriety and profitability by implementing a well designed content publishing and marketing plan.
Getting the word out has never been faster, easier and ultimately cheaper than it is today using quality content in a myriad of ways.