Ran Blayer is the founder and CEO of Perceptostrategic reputation management and digital communication agency.
It is often said that content is king. There is no doubt that content can contribute significantly to business success. But is all content really king? Around the world, the average internet user is from 16 to 64 spends six hours and 58 minutes online per day. This translates into an incomprehensible amount of content being consumed. The result is fierce competition to make content stand out and ensure it grabs and holds attention. Obviously, not all content will be able to achieve this. So, how can you ensure that your content is maximized to really provide a business benefit?
The first question to ask is the age-old dilemma of quality versus quantity. The answer lies in your business objectives. If the goal of your content is to drive more traffic and simply get more eyeballs, quantity is probably the driving force. If, on the other hand, the goal is to position your company as a market leader and project an image of expertise, then quality should be the hallmark of your content.
However, high quality content does not mean sparse content; you can never have too much of it. I see Hubspot as a particularly impressive example of this with its in-depth and diverse content all on a single platform. They include blogs, videos, newsletters, podcasts, and more. Obviously, very few companies have the resources to replicate such a model on this scale. Nevertheless, there is a cautious lesson to be learned, and companies should not use the necessity of quality to become an excuse for not producing enough content.
All this leads to another dilemma. What type of content can best provide a business benefit? Again, this depends on the objectives of your business. When big is best, and the goal is to get as big an audience as possible, anything that has the potential to have a viral effect is usually the best course of action. It remains difficult to predict exactly what will go viral, but surprisingly it is usually associated with visual content: a video with millions of views, a popular meme or a TikTok sensation.
Of course, your content will look remarkably different if the name of the game is to locate a specific sector or type of reader, say a C-Suite profile. With this smaller, yet sophisticated audience in mind, the preferred type of content is usually the written word: a compelling LinkedIn post, a well-crafted blog, or a thought leadership piece that positions your business in the right place with the right people.
Yet I see how this neat layout is often too neat. There’s no reason why the type of viral content favored by those seeking mass recognition can’t have a powerful impact on smaller, more targeted audiences, too. For example, Blue Apron, a meal and recipe delivery service, has developed a successful podcast to boost its brand awareness and potential customer base. The Why we eat what we eat podcast is an engaging way to discover where food trends come from, exposing the brand to a whole new audience of foodies. This may not be the exact model for everyone, but the principle is good. Being creative, daring and innovative can only increase the engagement of both large and small companies.
Whatever your business is trying to achieve, it’s absolutely vital that content reaches the people who matter. Too often, high-level content remains trapped in a black hole in the far reaches of the internet: an impressive article on a website few people visit, or a thought-provoking interview on a YouTube channel with only a handful of subscribers. This content might as well not exist. The only way to protect yourself from this is to research and understand your target audience’s content consumption habits. Once you really understand the type of content they like, the type of channels they use, and when they tend to consume content, you can make sure your marketing efforts get noticed.
Part of creating quality content is making sure you make strategic decisions. Every piece of content should be curated and aligned with your company’s values, ideals and purpose. Failure to do so can be shocking, causing confusion among customers and stakeholders. For example, Burger King’s abuse of Twitter to comment on International Women’s Day in 2021 is a educational story. The global giant was eventually forced to delete the original tweet, as it was widely seen as a cynical post and an attempt to hijack an issue that was just off-brand.
Quite simply, your content should reflect what you know, who you are and what you do. That way, the confidence you have in your business will shine through in what you create. By doing this, you can guarantee that your creative output will remain an important resource in your quest for business success.
Janice has been with businesskinda for 5 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider businesskinda team, Janice seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.