Does Content Still Matter?
When AlturaSolutions Communications was founded in 2002, our objective was to describe the features and benefits of our clients’ products and services in major trade publications. Invariably, we looked for manufacturers in the professional cleaning industry – our primary niche at the time – that manufactured products that needed to be described for end customers to understand their features and benefits.
This objective helped us select many clients. For instance:
The No-Touch Cleaning Manufacturer
When we first began working with this manufacturer, few understood what no-touch cleaning was all about. How can you clean without touching a surface? Our job was to describe these systems, how they work, their value, and benefits.
Carpet cleaning systems that used hot water were not new, but twenty years ago, most end customers had little understanding of the value of hot-water carpet extraction. Our client only produced hot-water carpet extractors and for a reason. Our job was to explain that reason and, in so doing, help sell more products for this client.
We see floor mats virtually everywhere in commercial facilities. But our client made several types of floor mats, all to be used for a variety of purposes and reasons. For instance, they made floor mats for barbers to stand on when cutting hair. They also made floor mats specifically engineered to prevent soil from being walked into a facility. Once again, we were tasked with explaining the value of these different mats so end customers could understand how they could help them.
The way we did this was by using content. Today, the term “content” refers to much more than it did years ago. Back then, we focused almost entirely on press releases and articles published in trade journals. Today it all comes under the umbrella of content marketing and includes such formats as the following:
- Publishing blogs on company websites
- Distributing articles and posts on LinkedIn
- Making videos, gifs, and images to be placed online
- Producing eBooks, white papers, and case studies
- Generating and releasing news stories and press releases to trade publications
- And, of course, publishing articles in major publications
All of these different formats are interconnected. In one way or another, they are all trying to communicate the value of a client’s products, service, or expertise.
And they accomplish one more thing. With an understanding of how search engine optimization (SEO) works and the proper use of keywords, they can improve a company’s SEO tremendously. Content in its varying formats is the most effective way to improve SEO and help visitors find your site. Without a content marketing program, Google and the other search engines have extraordinarily little material to search or link to on a website. The result: you don’t get found.
While generating content in different formats has many values, a strategy is necessary for it to truly succeed. A strategy comes down to the following:
Who is the content created for? This is your audience. The content has to be written to appeal to their needs, wants, and challenges.
What kind of content should be produced? In the B2B world, more traditional forms of content – specifically, words as opposed to pictures – work best. In the B2C world, the opposite is true. B2C is very dependent on short videos, graphics, gifs, and the like.
When to publish content? Typically, when clients ask this question, they are asking if items should be published in the morning, afternoon, only during the business week, on weekends, etc. None of that matters today really matters any more. We’ve published items in the middle of the night and the middle of the day, with remarkably comparable results.
How should the content be published? View blogs and published articles as the foundation of a content strategy. Once published, several social media strategies can be implemented to spread this content far and wide.
Why content? Earlier, we mentioned that publishing content is the best way for your organization, along with its products, services, and expertise, to get found. However, there are other ways to answer this “why” question:
- Many organizations want to fill a gap in their business marketing program.
- Others want to reduce advertising costs, and they view content, in all its different formats, as one way to accomplish this.
But invariably, clients want the content to result in lead generation, conversions, and sales. Invariably, the consistent publishing of well-crafted content does just that.
Examples: Red Ventures
For more than twenty years, Robert Kravitz and his firm, AlturaSolutions Communications LLC, has been working with people and organizations, helping them excel as Thought Leaders, marketing the value of their products, services, and expertise. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.