If you’re old enough to remember when Coca-Cola rolled out its “New Coke” recipe, you remember what a horrible disaster it was. As bad as it may have tasted to us cola drinkers, the taste it left in the mouths of Coca-Cola execs and shareholders was by far worse. When the company finally pulled the “New Coke” line and returned to its original recipe, it was like Christmas and the Fourth of July had just gotten married. Everyone rejoiced. And such is the case with those who have for years made the argument that content is king while naysayers in the “let’s make things happen yesterday” world of campaigning have (at least to some degree) realized that content is at the very least prince if not king.

What many business owners and even marketing managers don’t know—or won’t be flexible and open to is the fact that content IS marketing, and having a barren website devoid of any verbiage, not having a YouTube channel, and not creating any content outside of an inventory of items and their descriptions on your “About Us” page is essentially online suicide.

While it is true that content is highly essential, it can’t just be anything. In addition, business owners can’t just grab a blog or article from somewhere else online and repurpose for their website or blog. Not only is this plagiarism and bad business practice, it can get you thrown down into the pit of the Google Sandbox, and good luck getting out of there alive. The secret is to be creative (or hire creative people) and get the kinds of content you need, including website content, tweets, posts on your Facebook company page, your blog, your YouTube channel, Instagram, Google+ and more. What is perhaps the most important thing to remember is that because content is in fact king, even if you’re mentioning the same thing across a number of platforms, you need to say it in different ways because search engines respond best to this.

The classic scenario: The company president, CEO, or board of execs think that if they throw enough money at marketing, their magic beans will grow into a beanstalk. Not the case. While pay per click ads, AdWords, and other similar campaigns can be effective, it is the ongoing, ever changing content on our websites and social media platforms that make us effective business marketers.

There are small to medium-sized enterprises out there that have tossed small fortunes at PPCs and AdWords without a single nibble. There are numerous reasons for this, including picking the wrong keyword phrases and trying to emulate the competition a little too much, among other things. But one of the key issues is that even when a potential buyer does click (which us business owners pay for), once they get to the website and see a scarcity of information, a lack of a storyline, the absence of a blog (or worse, a blog that was abandoned weeks, months, or years ago) they bounce. And that’s a literal bounce, meaning the bounce rate of your site (visible in your analytics app or dashboard) is high; people are jumping ship nearly as quickly as they boarded.

So what’s the sense in spending money on campaigns if we business owners refuse to create content? And not just create content, but make it a constant objective with sustainable goals crafted by a team of content professionals? Whether that means YouTube videographers for those who can afford it or VideoHive for those of us who can’t, video content is one of the most powerful ways we bring traffic in and keep them wanting more. More of us, and more of what we sell. And here’s the key: we’re not selling them a product or service, we’re selling them some level of comfort, or a way to make their lives better or easier.

And for these very reasons, it is absolutely crucial that we consider our customers first in terms of their wants and needs. The content we create has to be centered around them. If we offer goods for families, the content must be family friendly. If we sell LED televisions, the content should be about entertainment, but partnering with companies that sell couches and surround sound systems are amazing ways to cross-pollinate to create more business for everyone. Creating win-win scenarios between industries allows us to ease up when we don’t have the time to generate content consistently at a breakneck pace.

If you want to sell, you have to get their attention, and to get their attention these days, that means content has to be a part of your strategy. Don’t fight it or try to find a workaround. Instead, find the help you need from your creative team.

Infographics via:
Content Crossroads
Attachmedia

 

Read more: Why Do Businesses Need Content Marketing?