Content is king. As marketers, it's a saying we're all too familiar with. While content generation feels like something that has come about in recent years, it actually has its roots (at least in terms of the digital landscape) dating back to an infamous article published by Bill Gates in 1996.
Gates speculated that "content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting… Those who succeed will propel the Internet forward as a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products—a marketplace of content.”
His prediction couldn't have become more true as brands today compete in a crowded marketplace in which consumers are exposed to as many as 5,000 brand messages a day.
While gates should perhaps be praised as an oracle, it’s too bad he couldn’t have provided us more insight into how to breakthrough the clutter in a marketplace of both paid and free content. That is the question that brand managers everywhere are asking themselves; how does my product stand out? Furthermore, how do I differentiate at every key touchpoint where consumers can interact with my brand? Today’s savviest brands are generating interesting and interactive content to engage their audience. Those brands that are one-step ahead of the curve are getting their loyal followers and advocates to contribute content back, creating a truly engaging and conversational environment.
However, at some point, we have to ask ourselves with the barrage of white papers, videos, mobile apps, infographics, and so on, how does a marketer ensure that their content is breaking through the clutter? The short answer is relevancy, innovation, and consistency.
The easiest way to ensure that your content is relevant is to stop talking at and start listening to your audience. Examine how consumers are speaking to one another – you’d be surprised at the actionable insights you will unearth. Today’s consumers are actively communicating with one another in a highly visual way - namely with photos. The latest stats from Instagram tell us that more than 80 million users are posting more than five million photos a day. Take a look at Twitter streams, Facebook timelines, and the explosion in popularity of Pinterest and you’ll notice a common theme emerging – imagery is the strongest currency when it comes to digital content.
So that brings us back to the question of content – is your content fitting into and standing out in the visual landscape that is being curated by today’s consumer? If not, chances are your brand is lacking relevancy, innovation, and consistency – at least if you’re trying to grab the attention of your audience.
In an era of content that is both company created as well as consumer generated, both curated and conversational, it’s more important than ever for marketers to have a strong grasp on the power of content marketing. The fact of the matter is if you have content, you are more likely to generate leads and foster ongoing relationships with customers. So, yes, like many other things, Bill Gates called it. Content is king and its power is only going to grow. If you’re still trying to wrap you head around what makes compelling content, join WOMMA for WOMMfest on Feb. 19 as Content Marketing genius C.C. Chapman shares invaluable insights on this exact topic.