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I think it was Seth who it best when he said  that customers,  you and me are in ingore mode. We ingore so much of what is going around us because there is just too much to take in. We are doing more, we are multi-tasking, we are time poor. So it is not always easy to get attention as a small business. It is harder to cut through the clutter. Why then is your content strategy so important and what is it? According to Kristina Halverson “content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery and governance of useful and useable content.” As John Gerzmen from the Brand Bubble  explains “Brands are now used more than they are perferred. Function benefits and relevance now outweigh the intangible emotional allure of a brand.”1 Now brands have to earn attention, rather than bid for it. Now online we don’t just observe we participate. We interact, use and have conversations.

Brands are now used more than
they are preferred.
Functional benefits and relevance
now outweigh the intangible and
emotional allure of a brand.

1. Content is a key reason for your customers to invest time viewing your web, listening to your ipod, looking twice at your advertisement on google. Content is a reason for your customers to remember you, as long as that content is valuable for them. According to Jessie James Garrett from The elements of an experienced user, “The single most important thing that websites can offer their users is content that they find valuable” 2 I would extend this to be all marketing communications.

2. Content keeps you top of mind. It takes on average 8 interactions with a customer for them to be considering purchasing with you. To get this traction you need to be top of mind. If you create an autorepsond campaign that has valuable content, your customers might not read the message all the time, but if they come across a person who needs your service or product they are more likely to mention you.

3. Content gives you an opportunity to interact with you customers. Blogging about their problems, answering their questions where everyone in your community can benefit. Social forums on products are now an area that customers can get product and services reviews before they buy. Some companies use interactions to improve their customer offering and experience by asking questions and fostering collaboration.

4. It shows that you care and are willing to invest in what matters to them. Understanding your customers is a key marketing strategy. Showing that you are listening and responsive is something that earns you credibility. Frankly it is so rarely done that it is a point of differentiation for your brand.

5. What do you/ your customers get by investing in a content strategy?3

  • Better user experience
  • Greater brand consistency
  • Better risk management as you are taking with your customers
  • Improved visability via SEO and analytics
  • Better operational efficiencies
  • More effective personalisation and targetting

Visit my slideshare to see a mud map on creating a marketing content strategy. You might have to login and join to view but it is free and there is a lot of great content on this slideshare website!

Enjoy.

Notes: 1,2,3 are the quotes and strategy from the work of Kristina Halverson. Please refer to Kristina Halverson’s presentation for more information.

Great blog by Valeria on 10 reasons why a content strategy fails.

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