A big question that many brands ask is what’s the right amount of content? And almost invariably, their position is we don’t want to do too much. People don’t want to hear from us, they say. Our industry is boring, they say.
Quite frankly, that is antiquated thinking. Trust me – there are people in your industry, i.e. your prospects, that are searching online right now for information about your business. In this information age we crave the latest and greatest information.
Consider this – the Wall Street Journal publishes several hundred articles every day. Huffington Post publishes as many as 2,000 articles a day.
Those media outlets cover the news – because there is so much information at the Journal, HuffPo and other media outlets, you know that you can turn to them to find out the latest news. Because they are prolific, we all know intuitively that we can turn to them in order to be well-informed.
(Of course, the other part of the equation is that they are also credible; we trust in them to tell the truth because we believe they have a journalistic process. Sure, I’ll say it – they’re fair and balanced.)
The pace of information is faster than ever before. It’s important to understand that this increasing speed is driven by consumer behavior. Media outlets strive so hard to have the latest breaking news because that is what the audience wants – collectively, we have an insatiable appetite for the latest news.
And that is the opportunity.
While your brand certainly can’t approach that kind of prolific output, there is a lesson to be learned in the high-volume pace of content creation practiced by media outlets.
As Jerry Wind and Baba Shetty wrote earlier this year at the Harvard Business Review, brands should be prolific, agile and audience-centric in order to win the day. Prolific. As consumers, we are plugged in all the time, constantly searching for new information, whether it’s about Kim and Kanye’s baby, about whether or not we should travel to Istanbul, or about Hosted VoIP solutions. As the Kinks once sang, Give the People What They Want. Information. Lots of it.
Organizations that adopt an aggressive content strategy and cover their industry – not writing about themselves but rather creating content about the news and trends within the marketplace – can build a tremendous bond with the audience. These brands can become a trusted source of information.
That is the point of a content strategy – to build trust with the audience. In the era of preference marketing, trust always comes before the sale. Buyers have global options – they can go to any corner of the world and purchase a service similar to yours, so how are you going to differentiate your offering? By demonstrating a commitment to educating the audience – both in terms of quantity of information and quality of information – you build trust.
It’s a major commitment to create content at the pace that the audience wants. But the benefit for the content-producing brand can be significant.
So let’s get cranking.