Why isn’t a content strategy enough? – WAU
This text is a translation of an article posted by Moz, Why Content Strategy Isn’t Enough. To see the original text, click here. In 1989, I had just earned my eighth grade diploma wearing a pair of baggy pants, trendy sneakers and a lot of hairspray. During classes, notes were passed to […]
This text is a translation of an article posted by Moz, Why Content Strategy Isn’t Enough. To see the original text, click here.
In 1989, I had just earned my eighth grade diploma wearing a pair of baggy pants, trendy sneakers and a lot of hairspray.
During classes, notes were passed to agree where the crowd would meet after class.
With any luck, when I got home, I would have a message on the answering machine with an answer from my crush saying that I would go too.
Lucky for us, the pace of technology development since the 1980s is incredible.
If I want, I can ask for fashion advice at real time for people around the world, who still wear the same size as me and have the same style.
If I need to contact a friend, all I need to do is send an SMS.
And, if I really need it, I can still order a bottle of hairspray straight from my cell phone, sitting on my couch, watching a Jack Johnson show for streaming, while reading an article on Pocket from Vogue on using hairspray for other things, other than keeping absurd amounts of hair on people’s heads.
There is no doubt that these technological advances have made our world faster, smaller and connected.
How is it possible that it took a long 89 years for phone companies to connect 150 million people, while Facebook took 8 years to connect 1 billion?
Something that is interesting, and somewhat ironic, is that even though the world is more connected than ever, when it comes to companies and their customers, many of the relationships remain distant and impersonal.
It is nothing new that there is a huge gap between businesses and their consumers.
Many companies – mainly technology – are not being built for the long term and they have their priorities in the wrong places.
For many of today’s companies, growth prevails at any cost.
Overvalued technology companies are creating an unreal illusion than will help them get there, as a business.
In the good old days that I still wore hairspray, the average time for a company that was in the Fortune 500 richest to reach a market value of $ 1 billion was 20 years.
Google hit in 8.
Facebook on 5.
Uber and Whatsapp in 2.
Snapchat: only 22 months.
Expecting growth at that speed is something unrealistic for most companieseven so, this is the new business model adopted.
Working to become the next revelation encourages businesses to evaluate the wrong metrics and lose focus on what really matters: devoting time and effort to gaining the trust of your customers and building a business that consumers consider worthy of relating to.
As marketers, we are forgetting that it’s not just the content that matters, it’s about the experience that people have with your brand.
Brand that we are working so hard to build.
As we enter another year, we need to have the intention to build brands with purpose.
Without fail, we need to deliver an authentic and foolproof experience.
And no matter what we do, we need to ensure that people, not technology, are directing marketing efforts.
Building brands with purpose
Often, the content that companies are creating is totally disconnected both the needs and desires of your audience, as well as the brand and the business they aspire to be.
Over the years, content marketing has fallen into the “more is better” mentality.
Rather than intentionally develop content as an extension of the company’s goals, content fell on the idea of “volume is what matters”.
Increasingly, research argues that large volumes of material are not necessarily the best strategy, and that there is security in choosing for quality rather than quantity.
Now, companies are starting to have more purpose with what they are producing and why they are producing.
Unfortunately, the way that many businesses still view content strategy is resulting in good placements in surveys rather than showing an altruistic gesture that creates credibility and serves the needs of its consumers.
There is no doubt that a content strategy remains important and that your content needs to be the best search result that anyone will find.
But just having good content it is no guarantee of anything.
As we lose the ability to reach search and social network users organically, as technology increases the options to block ads and the means to communicate with consumers becomes more and more digital, it is necessary to build brands that connect with people and transcend technology.
We need to become so real, relatable, true and trustworthy, that customers will not wait for you to reach them, they will come to you.
Your content – be it your website texts, product page lists, blog posts, email promotions, social media interactions, conversations with your consumers, packaging design, presence at events or your actions to remedy conflicts – needs to be part of an unforgettable experience through channels and means.
All of this should be part of your marketing strategy that works to build a experience with a brand that has purpose.
At the heart of any strong brand and with an effective marketing strategy, is the meaning of the companyin addition to the money.
Many businesses, not just startups, struggle to understand what this means and then figure out how to integrate that idea into their positioning.
It is common not to be sure what differentiates you from your competitors or what is the right audience for your product.
When there is no clarity on these points, no matter how big your pocket is, connecting with your customers will be a very difficult task.
Arielle Jackson suggests a few simple questions to make sure your position is solid: For, Who, That and Unlike (For what, for whom, what / what, different, n.t – free translation).
This formula makes it easy and fast – and more importantly, in a very human way – communicate your positioning and your purpose.
An example from Harley Davidson:
To begin with, as a way to complete the first steps of your template, Arielle recommends answering the following questions:
She also recommends that develop a positioning that is meaningful to the public, it needs to show the brand that your company wants to leave in the world.
In your positioning, you need to identify where you fit in this world and also answer the following question:
For your company, the world would be better if ____________
Knowing why your company exists what it came to do here, will not only help you build a brand with purpose, but it will also make a considerable difference in your marketing strategy, and also in the way you connect with yours. community of followers.
Several years ago, Dove redefined its purpose and discovered a more interesting meaning for its brand.
Since 2004, the driving force behind Dove, its meaning that goes beyond money, has been expressed through various media through the Real Beleza campaign, with advertisements made by real consumers of the brand.
…billboards around the world that encourage engagement and reflection:
Since the dialogue about what “beauty” means more than 11 years ago, the way Dove delivers that message keeps evolving and so it remains relevant.
With this approach, the brand won defenders, won its customers’ loyalty, several awards and an increase in profits from 2.5 to 4 billion dollars.
Although the company’s approach has received several inquiries from the press about its authenticity, Dove has ensured that it is not just attracting attention through the message about what true beauty is.
In partnership with Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls Club and with the Girls, Inc, founded and supported activities that bring out the bullying, as well as discussions about what it means to be beautiful.
Finally, far beyond profit, the biggest result Dove has experienced is, in fact, working to achieve its purpose: helping more women to love and feel good about their bodies.
What you stand for as a brand and a company is what gives you direction for your products, your actions as a business and also for marketing.
Even more important, this is the incentive to create a connection with people.
When we summarize everything about human relationships, people will continue to have access to more things: more content, more products and more choices.
The need to build relevant relationships with your customers is not an optional approach, it is a necessity.
Intifying and communicating your purposes as a brand is only one part of the whole. The rest is to deliver an authentic and unforgettable experience.
Deliver an authentic and unforgettable experience
At TED talks taught by Joseph Pine on What consumers want, he discusses how we achieved a certain level of value in our economy.
In this “experience economy”, it is necessary to go beyond goods and services to create a memorable event.
This is not a new concept and many companies have used successful marketing experience.
But the most important part of the talk explains how the experience needs to come from an authentic company. This authenticity has become the new buying criterion for the consumer.
In other words, who you are going to buy from and what you are going to buy from is all about how authentic the brand is.
And that is not possible to invent through advertising or what makes up your brand. 63% of consumers prefer to buy from companies that they consider authentic, rather than the competition.
Summing up: if you say it’s authentic, it’s good to be real!
Authenticity means that what we say, and especially our actions, communicate things that we really believe.
So, rather than companies saying what demographics they show that their consumers want to listen, they (and their collaborators) live, breathe and speak with conviction its meaning, in addition to money.
All of this through its channels and means of communication.
Let’s see as an example the Wear Your Label, a relatively new brand of jeans who is creating conversations about mental health through clothes.
The company’s mission is to end the stigma about mental illness, one piece of clothing at a time.
Wear Your Label lives and breathes its meaning and authenticity, which is apparently everything they do, on and offline.
They created an inclusive, responsive and empowering experience.
Even clothing labels convey their purpose.
Instead of instructions on how to wash, all pieces have self-care reminders:
On the company’s website, instead of models hired to show products, they use people who share their own experiences mental illness and how it affected their lives.
There is no requirement for height or weight, they simply ask people to share their stories.
In the blog, Wear Your Label it keeps proving real.
When they asked the company to organize a parade for the New York Fashion Week, instead of bringing together just one group of supermodels, they opened registrations for brand customers paraded with 3 models on the catwalk.
When they gave an interview to the Youth Day 2015 in Toronto, they created an experience using themed cards that were distributed to the audience and donated a dollar for each purchase made to a mental health organization that partnered with the company.
On the social networks, O feed news is very human.
On Twitter there is a balance between promoting the brand and encouraging a connection.
They are real people wearing their clothes, offering daily reminders of self-care, and everything it is a reflection of the purpose of the brand.
Wear Your Label started very well as a new brand in the market and is carrying out several actions for the good to gain credibility and build relationships which will, over time, result in a strong community of followers that will prove profitable.
But here is something interesting.
Creating that presence is relatively simple, from the marketing point of view.
Any brand can do that.
Any brand can ask people what their stories are and put emotional videos on their websites.
Any brand can post useful and emotional tweets.
But an online presence is just a fraction of the equation to be authentic.
The parts that really tell stories will come from the quality of your product: how it wears and is washed.
How easy it is to buy online through different devices.
How is the exchange and return process if something did not serve so well.
Whether the company respects your email preferences.
When they say that the volume of purchases is delaying shipments, do they honor the 5-10 day waiting period for additional shipping, or do they fail to communicate with customers when do you need to break that commitment?
When a brand moves forward, that’s the kind of thing that builds an unforgettable experience and proves the authenticity of the brand, nurturing trust and connection.
To win loyalty and win defenders, like any other brand, Wear Your Label have to show results.
It doesn’t matter where.
And at each point of contact they have the opportunity to win and win over their customers.
I am confident that WYL will continue to be successful, grow and be one of the good companies in the market.
Many marketers and CMO’s are wondering where to put marketing dollars.
Put those dollars where your experiment fails.
You may not control the sales funnel, but you control how your brand behaves every time a customer interacts with your company throughout its life cycle.
You can control how authentic you are, the quality of your customer service, how much time you spend improving your product and the value the customer earns when making a purchase.
If you’re screwing up somewhere along the way, invest your money right there.
Ensuring that whoever buys from your company has a incredible experience with your brand, the closer you will get to achieving your business and revenue goals.
The point of all this is that your actions as a company are what win an opportunity with your consumers.
If there is a disconnect in the experience they have with your brand at some point, you either lost a customer, or you just dissolved the trust you had built previously and it will negatively affect purchasing decisions.
The pressure is there for brands. Not that everyone needs to be perfect. We are all human and we make mistakes.
But to build deep relationships with customers, we need to do and speak what we really believe.
Companies that are willing to invest in this construction will not only profit from it, but also leave the competition behind.
Let people, not technology, guide your marketing efforts
These same authentic companies that are making their mark on the world, they operate completely differently from companies my parents worked with when I was a child.
Whoever succeeds in building relationships, connecting and gaining the trust of their customers in our extremely digital world, you know that this is not just about marketing strategies.
They have successfully presented a human experience to their consumers, because it is a passion and a mindset that breathes, alive, right in the heart of the company.
And everyone in there, not just the marketing team, are fueling that passion.
Internally, they know how breaking barriers, communicating and, effectively, align your organization with the goals they have, to deliver to your customers what they really need.
They may use technologies like HipChat or Slack to be more efficient internally, but they don’t allow that to take the conversation face to face when it is most needed.
As companies develop in our changing world and make necessary adjustments to survive, marketing can no longer operate separately from the other teams.
Doesn’t the shipping or product team need to work closely with the website and social media to communicate delays or problems to the consumer in real time?
The marketing and engineering team would not benefit from the feedback is customer support receiving?
The marketing team should not work closely with the sales team to nurture relationships on and offline?
For companies to be 100% authentic, they cannot deceive the public presenting a unified presence externally that does not match what is really happening internally.
It is also impossible to deliver a quality experience if the teams – both internal and external – do not collaborate with each other to achieve the company’s overall vision.
Just when you need to build trust with your customer, your departments need opportunities to do the same.
Self-management tools must be provided, empower each of the leaders, at different levels, and have the courage to communicate more effectively with their subordinates.
Changing the way your organization operates internally, certainly gives your employees the opportunity to find out how they work