14 July 2015

The content imperative

Tags:Strategy, Content Strategy, Content

Content is no longer simply ‘nice to have’ or even the proverbial ‘king’. Today, content is a true must-have for all organisations and should be at the very core of their business in this era of digital transformation.

Take it out of the too-hard basket

In our Information Age, high-quality content serves many vital purposes:

  • It’s how people find you
  • It showcases you as an expert
  • It differentiates you from your competitors
  • It helps your customers (both existing and potential)

Yet, in spite of these clear rewards, people think of content last because it’s too hard to deal with, whereas it should be one of the first things you think about when you embark on the path to digital transformation. Companies that do put content first are miles ahead of those that don’t.

Instead many organisations are making enormous investments in hosting, intuitive interfaces, web performance and more, only to have a page experience that’s mediocre, because the content hasn’t been “powered up” to be the best it can be. I’ve never been able to understand the disconnect between customer experience and content. If the content doesn’t do for customers what it needs to do, it’s a waste.

These days, most organisations have content oodles of it even. But the way they present it university courses, for example can be quite dry. So the content focus then needs to be about enhancing the customer experience.

Where do they go from here?

For many organisations, then, this begs the questions: Where do I start with content, or how do I make it better?

In both instances it’s with a really simple approach based on human needs: our need for community and our need to share stories. Business exists because of our intrinsic need for community. So you should start with the stories you’re telling. Tell the story of how your product and service aligns with your customers’ lives. What are your stories? What do you want to tell your audience?

More to the story

But it’s not just about producing engaging content, though that’s certainly key. Additionally, there are several boxes you need to tick:

  • Build a talented team
  • Implement smart technology
  • Figure out how to best deliver your content

Making a powerful leap

Sure, there is uncertainty and insecurity around diving headfirst into the content pool; there’s a vulnerability to it. But once you admit that’s where you need to go, you’ve just opened yourself up to a place of enormous creativity and improvement.

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