Content marketing is a sexy topic at the moment, and for good reason.
Google’s changes around search result prioritisation being the highest profile incarnation of this recently (Check our earlier blog posts here if you have missed the info on this). This shows that content truly is king. As has been documented recently organic reach on Facebook is dead, there is no longer the opportunity to free ride on the web. So where to from here?
Developing great content should be the answer. Google will reward you with a higher ranking in search results and the return on this investment is a highly engaged audience. Markets are increasingly fragmented and on the move to an ever-growing number of communications channels, so finding and being heard by your audience is tough.
To ensure that the message will be listened to irrelevant content must be avoided at all costs but also any messages that are too blatantly advertising. No one likes to be yelled at, and mass communications are exactly that, yelling at an audience and hoping that they submit to your will.
Developing content that matters to your desired audience and putting this in the right places will pull your audience in rather than you pushing it down their throat. This also presents an opportunity to develop targeted messages that will have much greater cut through than poorly targeted mass communications.
In developing content having a clear idea of your audience will be essential, in an earlier post David touched on 'User Personas', which serve as a great starting point for refining this.
Quality Product and/or Service
This is never going anywhere. If you aren’t delivering on this you don’t have a successful business model. Ever heard of a thing called Betamax? I’m only aware of this due to its prominence as the butt of 90’s pop culture jokes.
This early competitor to VHS was complicated and limited in its capacity and basically just didn’t really meet people’s needs, hence its demise, ridicule and feature here on a worst business failures list. The lesson from Betamax’s error is if you don’t meet the customer’s needs you don’t have a competitive advantage, which will likely spell the demise of your organisation.
User experience should be central to all business’ thinking from top to bottom. Similar to the marketing philosophy that marketers thinking should be applied to all aspects of a business, focusing on UX will allow you to understand how a customer interacts with your business and also give insight into the strengths and weaknesses of this interaction. Building on the great content and product UX facilitates the communication of these to the end user in a seamless fashion.
Disney has taken UX to an all-new level at Disneyland. If you haven’t heard about this you need to read this article, which explains the new Disney Magic Band. The magic band is essentially an RFID wrist band that harnesses this proximity tech to great effect, an example being children wearing them in the park being greeted by name by their favorite Disney characters, optimizing the user experience and creating a little bit of magic along the way.
This may seem a huge expense and high risk, however investing in great content to create a positive UX can be as simple as sharing relevant information through social media. Delivery of a great UX experience is not only a source of competitive advantage but if done correctly will get your audience talking and will create truly organic reach.
Despite the fragmentation of audiences the fundamentals of communicating value to your customer remain the same, have a great product/service, deliver relevant content and do so in a way that fosters top notch UX. There’s no hiding that the changing landscape certainly poses a challenge to be heard but with great challenges come great opportunities, and those business’ that harness this power and turn it to their advantage will be the victors.