Why All Brands Should be Content Machines
We recommend to our clients, early and often, that they need to be creating their own content. Opportunities abound to speak to key audiences – from company websites to social media to self-publishing on sites like Medium – but to move to the what, you have to first understand the why. Here are the top five reasons why content is a mandatory part of a successful communications program.
76% of B2B prospects say they put vendors on their short list because of a discernible thought leadership position in the market. This is huge. If you can articulate your viewpoint on the industry in such a way that you are providing value to the market, you will be paid back with the opportunity to make sales. Score one for the content machine.
Sales gurus will tell you prospects prefer the vendor they can learn from. Did you trust your professor in college to teach you not just their opinion, but fact about the topic as a whole? Exactly.
You control the message. Unlike earned media, where you are decidedly not in control (we do what we can to get all of the info to the journalist, but at the end of the day it’s their show), the content you create is yours. We provide guidance on what will appeal to the largest audience (i.e. don’t create content that is essentially an advertisement for your product – tackle thorny industry issues, have an opinion), but if control is what you want then becoming your own content machine should have a distinct appeal.
You control the distribution. You’ve written a beautiful, well-thought-out, opinionated piece on the state of your industry. You post it on your blog – yay! But wait, there’s more. Could you use bite-sized pieces of the post in different ways on your social channels? Could you reswizzle it slightly to get accepted by a trade publication as a bylined article? Could you gate it and run a drip campaign to get downloads? Yes, yes, and yes. This is the area where brands can really use content to their advantage. Too many are just stopping at the blog.
Storytelling builds brands. This is the crux of the matter. If you want to build a brand with whom people relate, from whom customers buy, for whom people love to work, you’ve gotta tell your story. And repeat it, add to it, tell more. Stories are what bind us to the world around us, they are what interests people in us. Don’t miss the opportunity to truly build your brand. Storytelling, via the content you create and distribute, wins the day.