It’s a word you hear and see more and more with every passing day now. Especially if you’re involved in any online marketing or advertising endeavors.
But what does content mean, exactly? And is all content created equal?
When you really get right down to it, content means a lot. And all content certainly is not created equal.
Nor is it received and appreciated equally.
So… What Is Content?
Put simply, content is any material or information that appears on your website or blog. It could consist solely of words. It could be just video. It could be only audio. More than likely, it’s comprised of a combination of all these components.
The amount, nature and variety of content depends on the site, brand or business that features and promotes it. Many blogs have little to no video or audio, as they are more the domain of writers (or wanna-be writers). A large brand or business’ site is likely to feature both writing (also known in traditional advertising and marketing circles as “copy” or “copywriting”) and audio/video content pieces.
That’s the simple, easy definition of content. But what content really means is about so much more.
Simply put, it’s about the health, success and very future of your business.
If you don’t quickly and successfully “hook” today’s fickle, demanding, distracted consumer on your site, you’re not going to secure their business or loyalty. And if you don’t create and craft quality content, you’re never going to catch their interest long enough to keep it. Or capture their hearts and minds before you can win really them over.
And if you don’t do all those things…well, you won’t be in business for long.
It all starts with content. So you better make sure you’re offering quality content.
The Importance of Quality Content
As is the case with any endeavor, the higher the quality of the content, the more effective the site is likely to be. This is why it benefits businesses and brands to hire professionals (such as advertising agencies, marketing firms, professional copywriters and content writers) to concept and craft content for their sites.
If you decide to go on the cheap and do it all by yourself, you’re likely to do a fair to poor job of engaging, entertaining or converting consumers and viewers who visit your site. Of course, if you’re a professional writer or veteran marketer, you stand a better chance to achieve success by taking a “DIY” approach. But most people, businesses and brands are best off hiring professionals to do the job at a high level.
After all, paid professionals are always the best at doing any job you need done in an efficient, effective and reliable fashion. It’s no different when it comes to crafting content – especially when it comes to creating quality content. Content that is creative. Compelling. Consistent.
What Makes Content Compelling?
Once again, all content is not created equal. Like anything else, some content is just simply better than others.
If you’re attempting to be funny, and you fall short, you’ve missed the mark. If you’re trying to be serious, and you come across as cheesy, you’re fallen short. If you take too long to get to the point, you’ll lose a consumer’s interest.
Creativity is an art form. And while the mediums, messages and messengers may change over the years, great art is great art.
If you win someone over on an emotional, visceral, primal level, you stand a much better chance of holding their interest. And turning them into loyal consumers and advocates of your brand. That’s how it’s always worked. And that’s how it works today.
Of course, crafting compelling content is not just an art form. It’s also a science. At least in part.
You want the content that populates your site to score well with search engines and SEO rankings. To do so, you’ll want to research and utilize relevant, powerful and impactful keywords, phrases and messages.
Professionals know best how to do this. And the best professionals realize how to balance the art with the science when it comes to creating content.
The Value of Consistent Content
While creating compelling content is of the upmost importance, consistent content also makes a big difference when it comes to measuring success. Especially over the long haul.
Just like people, brands and businesses who can stay solid, sure, certain and consistent over time are going to be perceived in a better light than those who are anything like erratic, uncertain or inconsistent.
This means that when you craft content, it should not only be compelling, but consistent as well. It should always speak to consumers and viewers in a manner that remains consistent, reliable and familiar. The tone and voice should stay the same. Some variation is fine, or course. But overall, you want to do and say everything with the same overall “vibe” and personality. Again, think of it in terms of a person. Who would you trust more? Someone who always speaks and acts the same way? Or someone whose moods, mannerisms and speech style seem to change with the winds and the trends?
When crafting good content, you should always be sure to speak in not only a consistent voice, but in the correct voice too. Know your target audience, and speak to them in a language that appeals and resonates with them.
At its core, any form of advertising or marketing should strike an emotional chord with consumers. It should move them. Make them feel something. If it also appeals to their logical and practical sides as well, then that’s even better.
But each brand and business should establish and hold it’s own consistent, compelling, distinct and differentiating voice and vibe. The best brands and the best advertising and marketing campaigns understand this. And they don’t deviate from this time-honored core strategy. How long have you been getting to know The Most Interesting Man in the World for now? And yet he still seems…pretty darn interesting.
You Had Them At “Hello”…
Overall, think of creating compelling, consistent content as a sort of “chain reaction” when it comes to building your brand.
Really, the importance of this process cannot be overstated. How you introduce yourself to somebody goes a long way in their opinion of and feelings about you. The same thing goes for your brand, and the content that appears on your business’ website.
There is a process at play. A series of steps that unfold. And the better job you can do of hooking, wooing, seducing or winning your customers and viewers over at the beginning…the better chance you stand of holding their business and interest over time.
If they like you, they will also go out of their way to tell everybody all about you. Today, this is about so much more than simply word of mouth marketing (which still holds tremendous power and sway, according to many studies). If you create and share creative, compelling content on your site (and on other sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Instagram), you can rest assured that it will soon find its way around the many social media channels that people love to work and play with in America today.
The more they like you, the more they’ll tell others about you. The more people learn about you, the more your business’ bottom line will boom. And the longer you can keep them talking about and engaging with you, the better chance you stand of securing lifelong consumers and true “brand loyalists.”
It’s a process, and it all starts with creating and sharing quality content.
Content creation is where you plant the seed. Get the ball rolling. Introduce yourself. Begin a relationship.
Think about that. And then think about just how important it is to do things right. Right at the beginning.