2 min read

Get in the Content Game

Get in the Content Game

Yes, that phrase I loathe so much – “Content is king” is still being circulated. While it still lives in infamy, the true story is the fact that “Utility is king,” as Luke Beatty highlighted in his keynote speech during the Digital Summit Denver. And, with brands playing in the publishing space, it’s time to get smart about your content strategy.

Utility is king

Brands are bucking the tradition of old school marketing, realizing that the days of “mass marketing” just don’t work anymore. Brands and companies need to shift their way of thinking to focus on the consumer. As a brand, you can talk all day long about what’s cool and awesome and amazing. Or by trying to piggy back on some irrelevant pop culture reference. What utility ultimately boils down to is finding that golden ticket that your consumers find cool and awesome and amazing. Be people-centric, not brand-centric.

Consumers are getting smarter

But at the same time, they aren’t exactly brand loyal. How do you bridge that gap? Through thoughtful storytelling. A few years ago McDonald’s Canada rolled out its Your Questions website in an effort to be transparent about its products by bringing you closer to the people who make decisions at the fast food chain. The result was a more engaged fan-base. Executives answered consumer questions in close to real-time, which sparked even more engagement. Travel Oregon has a similar feature, tapping brand ambassadors to authentically answer fan questions about cool spots in the state to visit.

Budget for content

Content doesn’t just appear out of thin air. Content needs the time and resources to be developed. Great content needs even more time and resources. What do I mean by time and resources? A budget line item. While smaller brands may never compete with the likes of Coca-Cola or GE, that doesn’t mean they should ignore content marketing altogether. It means brands should take a page out of their book. Consumers not only engage with great content, they engage with great content that is relevant, authentic, and well-produced. Not sure where to start? Allocate just a little bit to start testing the waters. Use the great writers and creators in your office as a start, then begin branching out by tapping freelancers and creative agencies for bigger ideas. As the Harvard Business Review recently pointed out, " Ninety percent  of B2C marketers use content in their strategy, but few brands recognize the real opportunity in doing so."

Here’s are they key takeaways:

  • Content is more than just cool graphics and trying to take advantage of every single pop culture reference
  • Utility means developing content that is relevant to both your brand and your consumer
  • Storytelling is increasingly important; but, not just storytelling, transparent storytelling
  • Brands need to budget for content. Yes, put an actual line item in your budget for solely content development
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