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29
Aug

Don’t Wait to Create Great Content: Three Ways to Improve Your Content Now

Launching a content strategy initiative for many in-house and marketing teams can feel like a daunting or even intimidating effort.

So, we often times post a job for a content strategist. Then take the time to interview, hire, train and integrate a single full-time employee to lead an entire initiative. As any business owner or hiring manager knows, that’s not only an expensive investment, but also has productivity limitations. Props to the law of diminishing returns.Continue Reading..

22
Aug

Why Content Strategy?

Our very first blog post answered the question, “What is content strategy?”

What content strategy is… is important. Websites, blogs and social media are full of articles attempting to clarify and explain what content strategy actually is as a methodology and core business function.

But, the more important question about content strategy is why? Why should we as business professionals and consumers care about content strategy?

The answer is human behavior.

Much like the rapid growth and evolution of technology, people have adapted to an ever-changing online environment, driving adaptations to their daily habits, behaviors and interpersonal relationships.

People are now more connected, more informed, more resourceful, and have learned not only how to create and publish their own content — but have also become more adept at deciphering truth from hyperbole — “fluff” from meaningful content.

These discerning consumers of content will know if you’re not being honest or sincere. They’ll process the information they receive, quickly form an opinion of you and your message based on transitive trust principles, and decide whether or not you’re worth their time, financial or emotional investment.

The Good News!

Being honest with people about who you are, what you do, and why you do it is easy. If your audience accepts and respects who you are, and your motivations and actions are sincere, then the connected economy will respectfully reward those who have the guts to show who they really are.

When brands insist on being open and honest, people respond positively, which fosters and builds trust with a receptive audience amidst an increasingly untrusting digital world.

The Bad News 🙁

People have more options now than ever. If someone doesn’t like or trust your brand, they’ll buy from your competitor. If someone doesn’t value a relationship with you or your brand, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of others they can sample with little to no risk.

Not Everyone Will Want What You Offer

That’s scary. Many people attempt to avoid rejection at all costs, and eventually spend more time, emotion and energy on delaying the inevitable end of a one-sided conversation — when effort would be better spent focusing on connecting with a receptive target audience.

Interactions are Transactions

Every interaction has a beginning and an end, and the quality of every transaction hinges on authenticity and degree of met expectations, as well as the perceived value of the transaction.

We’ve all had bad customer service interactions. We know how it goes. One bad experience means you’ll think twice. Two bad experiences means you’re gone. Once you’ve lost a customer, it costs five times more to regain their trust than it does to gain a new customer. Developing genuine, positive customer experiences doesn’t just sound pleasant — it has significant, quantifiable financial value in terms of online conversions and beyond.

Content Strategy is Not a Checklist Item

It’s important to know who your audience is — not only in terms of demographic and statistical information, but also in terms of emotional, motivational, characteristic, qualitative data. Once you’ve invested the time to genuinely understand your audience’s internal and external motivations, you can create brand messaging and content that align with your true audience, empowering them to engage with you in ways that integrate with their connected lives.

Content strategy is a continuous, quantitative and qualitative performance-driven investment that can pay off incredibly if done correctly.

15
Aug

Lost in Exploration: Lower Cost, Higher Price

This weekend, we had an interesting conversation with an ever-sought-after web designer/developer about the Discovery phase implemented by their creative team. Or in this particular case, lack thereof.

The rare designer/developer, a “unicorn” — someone who is empathetic and visual, yet technical and data-driven, with exceptional ability to execute — has very dynamic talents, and is able to easily jump between strategic thinking to solve complex business problems and visual concepting/execution that supports function.Continue Reading..

08
Aug

What is Content Strategy?

Every day, the Internet publishes 140 million tweets, 1.5 billion pieces of Facebook content and 10 million Tumblr posts. Throw in another 1.6 million blog posts. And that doesn’t include images (GIFs, anyone?!) or videos!

The volume of new content created every minute is astounding, and it’s growing. Yet, we get asked at least once a day, “What is content strategy? What is content?”

With new thoughts and ideas published and shared across the Internet constantly, there will always be the buzzword du jour when talking about how we create content and market businesses to consumers.

Let’s start with what content strategy is not.Continue Reading..