Whether you know it or not, you ARE in the Age of Content. Words and images matter. Any message that goes from you to your public is “content.” The most successful companies used content to drive real results.
Years ago, information about a company’s product/services (like reviews and specs) were often created by outside sources, Consumer Reports for example. Successful companies create the content about their products or services. This content looks and feels the same as that from the outside. Companies now write blogs, offer photos, images and videos, and create all sorts of content about their company, product or service. Why? Because content is the best form of marketing available. The internet and smart phones make it is more easily available, and thus more used by the consumer than ever before.
Compelling content is key to moving a person from prospect to client – fast. Let’s break it down with an example:
When you use Google to search for a new laptop, what will drive you to a specific retail site instead of others with the same products? Creative, compelling, smart content.
When you have narrowed the options and want to compare one laptop to another, with an emphasis on gaming performance (for example) what will get you to understand the merits of a one product over another? Creative, compelling, smart content.
When you want to stay up-to-date with new products on the horizon, what drives you to go from being someone that just bought one product into someone that is an advocate of that company? Creative, compelling, smart content.
Content marketing doesn’t go stale; it continues to pay dividends forever. When done right, content creation doesn’t have to have an expiration date. It will drive traffic to where ever you want it to go. It also connects a company to its customers and prospects 24/7.
Content for content’s sake is not the answer. The right content makes the difference between wild success and failure for a company online, especially social media (like Facebook and Twitter). Content must be credible and relevant to you and your audience if it’s to be effective online. Amazing content focuses on helping your audience rather than you selling something to them. Research has proven time and again the key to great content is presenting info in a way that helps your reader understand the benefits that your company, your product or your service bring to their lives.
Simple writing can be hard – words, style, and context all matter. The most effective content depends reaching the heart or the gut reaction of your audience. Honesty, sincerity is best and is most often conveyed in simple, direct language. At the same time choosing words aimed at your reader or listener such as “you”, “your” work best. However, a natural tendency when appealing to others is to be wordy, offer too much explanation or to complicate a sentence with big words. This makes your message feel heavy. Your audience must then depend upon intellect rather than feeling – the opposite is best. Simple language, simple sentences that engage feeling over intellect have proven over time to bring about the best results.
Simple writing has nothing to do with assuming that customers are “dumb” and has everything to do with reaching them faster with the strongest message possible. The longer a sentence or the more complicated the words are in a sentence, the more lost the message becomes; Your audience will spend more time focusing on the sentence and less on its message.
“Bigger. Faster, More.” is AT&T’s most recent ad campaign (created by the world’s most awarded Advertising agency BBDO) The language of this amazing content is very simple: A man asks a small group of young children “What’s better: Bigger or smaller?… Faster or slower?… More or less?” The Ad’s slogan is “It’s not complicated.” And it is just that simplicity that drives the message home to the customer. It cuts through life’s noise and speaks directly to our primal, fundamental desire for a life less complicated, simplified.
Compelling, creative content matters to you because it allows for control of your image. It is the proven way to continually reach your audience where they are, in the most direct way possible. It matters because every growing or established company must appeal to as many people as possible, turning prospect into clients or customers, then turning those into lifelong advocates. Compelling creative content matters, the company that doesn’t understand this will get left behind.