Content is a big word these days. Everyone is producing content, and with good reason, because it’s with content that your brand, product or service is brought to life in the hearts and minds of your audience. And being front of mind with consumers, potential clients and customers is at the core of all marketing and communications.
So, what is content anyway? Is it a video, a blog post, social media activity, print advertising, your website, a billboard or a radio spot? Let’s delve a little deeper and discover what content really is.
Four amazing things to realise about content
The FIRST AMAZING THING about content, is that it’s made up of every interaction that a person has with your brand. Going beyond advertising, beyond marketing and content marketing, your content is also every customer experience on the shop floor, or an interaction with a sales person on the phone, every time someone gets frustrated using your website. In fact, you could almost say that by engaging with your brand, audiences are creating content.
It's in your hands
Content is the crystallisation of your brand – the face and the voice that people see, hear and experience. The way audiences experience your brand could be cerebral, emotional, transactional, or all three. The SECOND AMAZING THING to realise about content is that each encounter audiences have with your brand, no matter what level it’s at, can and should be crafted to tell a seamless, integrated and coherent story to your audience.
It's your own
The THIRD AMAZING THING about content is that might not be what you think it is. While content could be defined as all the tactical pieces that go out into the world like outdoor advertising, digital campaigns, articles and videos, these are in fact just the channels through which your content is distributed. What actually makes up your content is the idea, the concept, the story that you’re telling. Crucial to this is keeping the coherence of the idea and messages consistent for your segments, across channels and through the sequence of multiple audience interactions. Because content can take any shape or form and turn up where you least expect it, it’s power to influence customer behavior is incredible.
It's a two-way street
The FOURTH AMAZING THING about content, is that even though it’s something you create and your brand projects outward, it’s what comes back at you where it becomes really interesting. Part of this is the content that you don’t create yourself – user generated content – but still becomes part of your brand. This gives you insight into how your audience sees you and forms, along with all the regular data and metrics, the raw data from which you’ll draw insights. This measurement is crucial, as the feedback, responses, results and learnings that can be garnered are what will inform the evolution of your strategy and, in turn, the next phase of content creation.
The medium, the moment, the message
Because content is so versatile and the channels via which it can be distributed are so diverse, choosing how to get your message out there is a vital exercise. At The Walk, we pride ourselves on being channel agnostic. Sure, there are some popular channels we use more than others, but when the message suits a particular medium, that’s the one we’ll use. Some content will be effective as an online experience, some needs to be delivered via video, where other content feels right as an article but it could even be just a picture that paints those thousand words.
Context and proximity are also important considerations and these combine to become the moment. The moment that your audience encounters your content. Before choosing your moment, consider the context they’ll be in and how that might affect their response. What time is it for them? What will they be doing? Are you interrupting? Or, did they seek you out? All important questions to consider when creating, distributing and measuring content.