Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

Is Your Content Really Truly King?

By on April 6, 2010 in communications strategy with 0 Comments

Tell me if you’ve heard this before: Content is king.

It’s a popular catch-phrase of many a marketer.

But how many actually practice what they preach?

Talking the talk and walking the walk are two different things. From what I can tell, there’s a heck of a lot more talking than walking.

Generic content abounds

Case in point: I’m working on a consulting job where I recently completed a competitive analysis of approximately two-dozen websites belonging to organizations all operating in the same field of business. The analysis considered a variety of factors including website design, information architecture, branding, content and use of social media.

I observed discernable differences in design, user friendliness and overall site organization. Certain sites had more videos and podcasts. This seemed mainly a sign of financial standing — the well-off places can afford more of these assets.

The character and tone of web text ranged from technical to institutional to consumer-friendly. Meanwhile, the messages and information contained in text and videos for nearly all sites was so similar as to be interchangeable. “We have innovative cutting-edge technology, teams of experts, personalized service.” Blah, blah. Yadda, Yadda.

Content is often created in a vacuum

When everyone’s saying pretty much the same thing you’re not making a case for why to choose your product or service over someone else’s.

All too often organizations create content in a vacuum. Their goal is to meet business objectives and state their offering.

But really, that’s the least you can do. For content to be king you must present compelling distinctions that make someone think, “Ah, now there’s a difference that matters to me. I’ll go with this one.”

It isn’t just about you, or even your customers. It’s also about your competitors.

It’s the difference between being a commodity and being a preferred choice.

Put your website to the test

Surely this is not news. Still odds are if you conduct a competitive analysis of websites for businesses operating in your industry you’ll notice a lot of repetition.

In fact why not do it? Visit the websites of your competitors. Read the text, view the videos and listen to the podcasts. See if you can pick out even a handful of differences in content and messaging. I mean real points of singularity, not simply using other words to say essentially the same thing. Be sure to include your own site in the analysis.

If your content stands out, more power to you. If not, start planning for how to make it so.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think? Comments welcome.

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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .

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  1. Deni, you are right on (again!).

    I think one of the things driving this type of herd mentality is conservatism. Competitor “A” listed their executives so we should do the same. Competitor “B” has a video of their new product, so here’s ours…

    Best,
    Steve

    • Deni Kasrel says:

      Steve,
      How right you are — I have certainly worked a places where certain execs have a herd mentality and knee-jerk response to what others organizations are doing, without giving much thought as to why doing one thing or another may matter (or not). I believe it boils down to lack of creativity and an aversion to take even the tiniest of risks in terms of trying out something a little different.

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