First, there was a rush to create content for the Web in the hope that we may strike gold and go viral. Then we realised that creating content was as much as science as art. To get our audience to stop, look, like, and share our content demanded creativity, usability, and resonance in our development of content. Even more difficult was to make people pause and consider our content for decision-making and purchase; and hopefully still remember us and mark us favourites once they’ve gotten what they needed. Content marketing helped us address these challenges strategically and systematically, bringing content to a business level rather than simply a tactical one. We realised that, just like with social media, content marketing is less about producing better content, and more about helping our business become better because of good quality content.
Content marketing has done such a good job in proving its worth that everyone is now hell-bent on producing content for their business. However, this is often times done at the expense of strategy and quality. It has become so easy to populate the business landscape with blogs, photos, tweets, videos, infographics, white papers, podcasts, and webinars, however unremarkable they are. What’s worse, a lot of these run-of-the-mill content are packaged beautifully: witty copy, professional design, eye-catching images, cool functionality — but all they do is just muffle the screams of mediocrity.
Social technologies have helped to make it so easy to create and maintain a social presence and leave ones digital footprints all over. But it’s getting harder to distinguish footprints from one another especially along a frequently traveled road, and track where they lead. Companies are skipping content skills and capability development, and instead dashing headlong to the content production line. And there lies the rub. By focusing more on production, our audience finds itself confronted again with content overload (and poor quality content at that), while companies find themselves staring at an ever decreasing ‘Return of Content‘.
Simply put: the content deluge is upon us. Everybody else is creating content — even companies with content marketing skills gap. And this kind of companies are in the majority. Which means there’s a big chance that those who truly are creating good content from the inside-out will be lumped together with those creating what only looks good from the outside. How can we survive this deluge?
The inspiring and passionate folks from Velocity Partners propose this: evolve into a Content Brand. It’s no longer enough to produce good content, or build a lean and mean content machine. We have to transcend being makers and marketers of content. We need to transform into a brand that is famous and respected for creating content that is remarkable, useful, and trustworthy. Every single time. Content that our target groups, partners, and even our own workforce will find worthy of bookmarking, saving, sharing, even repurposing for their own content. Every single time. That’s the challenge. Upholding that promise is what will make a company a great content brand.