If you’re going to create a content strategy, it might be useful to have a clear understanding of what you’re strategizing about.
Here’s what content is not:
- Brochureware: Brochures, data sheets, specs and other product-centric pieces have their place, to be sure, but that’s not what we’re talking about when we’re talking about content.
- Landfill: Generic filler, generated by the bucket-load without regard for substance or quality, is not what we’re after, either.
You can think of the context for content in this way: Business has always been about an exchange of value; in return for our customers’ money, we offer a good they appreciate. Today, the combined one-two punch of the Internet and widespread broadband availability has transformed marketing communications into a similar exchange. Back in the old days, we could interrupt potential customers (with ads) as they passively consumed media. But now that the aforementioned technologies have made consumers active seekers of information (and active rejecters of junk they don’t want), marketing operates on new terms: in exchange for our customers’ attention, we have to offer them communications they value.
Simply put, content means communications your customers and/or potential customers value.
Seen in this light, format is flexible. Content can be something people read, something they see, something they watch, something they share, something they have fun with. But regardless of type or tactic, it has to be material THEY value.
Do people seek advertising, brochures, sales pitches, etc? Do you? No.
Do people seek material that entertains, informs, enlightens and/or helps them achieve goals or overcome challenges? Yes.
For the sake of creating a content strategy, and as the guiding light of my upcoming Content Marketing 101: Getting Started workshop at Content Marketing World in September, here’s my working definition:
Content is communications so valuable your audience eagerly consumes it, so distinctive it sets your company apart from your competition, so authoritative it confirms you as the resource worthy of customer confidence.
That’s the kind of content worth that’s worth your time to create, your customers’ time to consume.
Want to create a content strategy worthy of your time and theirs? Register for the September 9, Content Marketing 101 workshop at CMW today.