Web content is like blood. Your brand's BLOOD. Flowing in rhythm through an organization. Like the human body, brands depend on content as if it were blood. Cut off blood to particular area of a company and it will loose those departments or products. Without healthy web content your brand will wither and die.
How can I get dynamic web content flowing from every body of my organization? How do we publish our "authentic expertise" to the web?
Like blood, CONTENT comes from the heart. My belief is that only people from within can truly contribute valuable content because they are the true "experts". This means that you don't need a fancy, overpriced agency. It's already in your HEART, it's authentic. Agencies can add polish to your content but shouldnt be relied on to create it. They can't be the experts that the brands are. How can an agency answer real buying questions pertaining to your niche? They can't.
Content can be anything in the realm of documented "expertise" or data/images relating to your industry and products. Think about the areas and departments within your organization, each one with a story to tell. This information should be published in several forms including blog text, videos, podcasts (audio), images and website material so it can be found by buyers. No matter which medium you choose to focus on (preferably all), make sure that you are continually updating and adding. This isn't rocket science, it's your market. The market that you are an EXPERT in. Remember?
The importance to publishing your expert content to the web. Search rules, no doubt about it. This will get you found! When the questions is asked in a search, you've got the best answer. Consistently publishing content about your industry and products will keep you relevant in the conversation, and with Google. Answer questions! To WIN in the store you must win the conversation. That's cheesy
Popular places to publish content - Blogger, Wordpress, YouTube, Flickr, Website, Social.
Popular ways to lead people to this content - Facebook, Twitter, Search, Search, Search
Social media for brands = "Conversation Content" (I just coined that!) This just means that the public is allowed to openly discuss and interact with your content in the form of comments, update follows, questions. That's the definition of social media.
Brands have been afraid to open up this is the type of transparency. Why?
What makes Amazon a winner?
User-generated content. This is where it's at on the web today. Sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all carry enormous amounts of user-generated content. Also, Sites like Amazon use consumer ratings and comments to spur sales. This is a great example of an online brand (Amazon) harnessing user-generated content to sell their products. Other social networks are allowing users to connect by sharing content (video,blog,podcast,tweeting) related to a specific category. We live in a network of networks, niches galore. The popularity of this content lies in how authentic it is.
Employee-generated content. We should take note from the success of "user generated" content to influence buying. If employees can freely publish ideas, insights and opinions that are authentic, why shouldn't they be doing it? It's already proven that people like to express themselves with content. While others, complete strangers, enjoy consuming it. With this in mind let's think about a company. Our consumer now craves this "user generated" authentic content from brands as well.
Everybody is an expert at something. Let employees contribute content on to the web in their areas of expertise.
Why do people believe ratings over advertising? The same reason you will succeed with "Conersational Content" i.e. Social Media.