More and more people use the Internet in their everyday lives, and digital natives increase their purchasing power every year. At the same time, businesses continue to flock to online properties in order to compete for attention and dollars.
Like the water in the ocean, online content is the media through which all this attention and money flows. And since there’s so much of it, all screaming to be noticed, creating and distributing good content is paramount to any organization.
3 Reasons why good content is so important
- Differentiation. You need to stand out, and to the right people. No matter what you’re selling, you’re in competition with a million alternatives, including video games, news and Netflix.
- Search Engine Optimization. Nearly half the global population uses search engines to navigate the messy waters of the Internet. They conduct an estimated 1.2 trillion searches a year on Google alone (source). These engines use sophisticated algorithms to rank their results–your content creators need to understand them to ensure that your content reaches your intended targets.
- Branding. Content is what the market uses to create the story of who you are. This is your brand, whether you control it or not.
What goes into creating good content?
A large part of the answer depends on your target audience. For this reason, it’s crucial to have a solid understanding of buyer personas, their culture, language, and how they use the Internet. However, there are some rules of thumb that should apply to most situations. Not all of the following are 100% necessary, but are worth considering:
- Consistency. In order to facilitate the building of that all-important story (aka brand), content needs to have a reliable central theme or vibe.
- Authenticity. Experienced Internet users are sensitive to spin, tricks and corporate PR tonality. There are entire watchdog communities out there devoted to finding and shaming organizations that try to be sneaky.
- Vibrancy. Convey excitement, purpose, urgency and meaning. This is a tall order and depends on the talent and skill of your writers.
- Originality. Sharing and remixing content is a popular practice online, and it definitely has its merits. But creating unique and fresh content will have greater value to those who care–and those who care may be your customers.
- Easy-to-read. Given the sheer volume of content that invades people’s lives these days, complex or long-winded pieces should be used sparingly and strategically.
Getting help with content production
Target audience, narrative, quality control, distribution, multimedia support–these are the elements that go into content production that moves hearts, minds, and eventually wallets.
Often, organizations don’t have the in-house resources to focus on the full-time job(s) of running a content production machine. Like any other business requirement that falls outside core competencies, outsourcing is key. Content agencies like Haven specialize in all the elements mentioned in this post–the only question is what sort of investment one is willing to make to win in this space.
And in 2019, having little or no investment in online content is a very risky proposition.