Congratulations: you’ve created a website for your new business or refreshed the website for your existing business. You’ve got a snazzy headshot, engaging visuals, and a tight and consistent branding message.
But now all you hear about is content—you have to have a content-marketing strategy, create more and better content for your website, and update your blog regularly with fresh and exciting content (like this!). As Bill Gates first said, content is king. There are content-marketing agencies, content farms, content-creation professional organizations, a Content Marketing University, and the Content Marketing Institute.
What exactly is “content,” though, besides a hot buzzword? And why do you need it?
According to Merriam-Webster, content means “the subject or topic treated (as in a book)” or “the important part or meaning (as of a book).” Per Wikipedia’s content marketing page, content should be relevant to a business and should “provide valuable information to impressed consumers.” A content-marketing strategy therefore “relies on anticipating and meeting an existing customer need for information.” In that sense, then, whatever you write about is content.
Not so fast, though. Entrepreneur, reporting that 94% of small businesses have a content-marketing strategy, points out the myriad “reasons why content can be just plain bad.” If you have “no idea what to write about” or you’re “just boring,” don’t expect to churn out scintillating content. And even when you write something interesting, Law.com points out that “marketing teams need to recognize a simple truth…[clients] are not going to be able to consume everything you are sending them.”
Thankfully, plenty of companies and marketing agencies claim to “love content” and want nothing more than to “talk about content” and “create content” for you. Problem solved, right? Literally anything you can put online, no matter how engaging or useful for your clients or your business, is technically content.
But is it really what you need?
Would You Order “Food” at a Restaurant?
Imagine walking into your favorite restaurant and asking for “food.” Your server would probably stare blankly at you, waiting for the punchline. At the very least, you’d certainly be prompted for further information. (Inspired, of course, by the great Michael Jackson’s Beer Companion, wherein the author pointed out that one should no more order “a beer” than “a plate of food” or “a glass of wine.”)
You don’t want food—you want a ribeye. Or an enchilada. A pimento cheese sandwich? A Greek salad? Maybe you need to satisfy your sweet tooth with a bowl of ice cream or a jelly-filled donut. (Excuse us while we step aside for a quick bite to eat!)
The point is, you never just want “food”—you want to be tempted by the right food.
You don’t want “content,” either.
What Do You—and Your Clients—Really Want?
Are you content with merely creating content? (Sorry, couldn’t help ourselves on that one.)
Or do you want something more targeted? Do you want to provide actual usable, relevant information that helps your clients with their current and pressing questions? Do you want to be seen as a resource or as a thought leader in your field? Want to highlight your business’s successes? Draw connections between your work and recent developments in the news or pop culture? Perhaps provide your own unique insight into a problem that your clients are having? Can you organize those thoughts and write content that is comprehensible, helpful, and interesting to read?
At Scribe On Demand, we maintain fresh, interesting, reliably helpful content for law firms, professional organizations, technology companies, and, yes, the beer industry! Need help creating something better than just content for your business? We’d love to talk with you!