For the past several years, whenever anyone was in a serious discussion about web or digital marketing, eventually someone would exclaim, “Content is king!”. All sides would nod sharply in agreement, and often the discussion would peter out. What more was there to say about successfully marketing your website? You could have the most glorious slider photos, clever headlines, and irresistible interactive elements, but first impressions only last for so long. It stood to unanimous reason that unless you were at least regularly supplying fresh content to your website, it was doomed to fail.
There are very good reasons why this content tenet withstands and prevails. One of them involves how search engines work and continue to work. Crawlers are programmed with ever-evolving algorithms that seek out the freshest and most useful content available that matches a specific search word or term. The thinking is that users want the latest and greatest all the time, and in the incessant manner in which information requires updating, who can blame them?
But it’s not only accuracy that drives this thinking; often it’s simply that the information is perceived as “old”, or “stale”. In the case of B-2-B websites, for example, products and services may need to be presented with a new coat of paint despite remaining constant in their benefits and message. The reason is that, when we market, regardless of our forthrightness, the perception is that that which doesn’t appear to stay current loses value. For those of us well ensconced in middle age, no point could be pointier.
So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, outside of how search engines work and in the enduring sense that perception is reality, we need to add fresh content to our website and keep its design looking current, if not modern. It’s been the SMS experience that the length of time a company needs to refresh and polish their website grows increasingly shorter. Like most things, the speed with which our lives are changed by technology places us in a permanent kind of evolutionary warp. One day our mobile devices are state of the art, the next they’re obsolete. Some of us like to think we live independent of technology’s clutches, but it’s becoming pretty clear pretty quickly that it’s not the case for anyone. We’re all connected, all the time, and sometimes it feels like if we don’t keep our speed on the wheel it will spin us around and spit us out.
Okay, the king grows more powerful and demands more coin – how do we keep him fat and happy? The good news is that we’re all creating content – or at least sowing the seeds of useful content creation – all the time. Every day in our workplaces we’re having conversations about improving our products and services and thinking of new ways to compete. Sure, we talk about other things too, but at any given moment pockets of staff are hashing out the minutiae of their daily professional existence and arriving at problems and solutions, questions and answers. Sometimes our conversations are concrete, sometimes they remain in the abstract. But we communicate constantly and communication is the very essence of marketing.
The trick is collecting these bits of communication, organizing them, and identifying the best way to deliver them to your audience. A quick photo of a new system component accompanied by a honed explanation of how it will benefit your customers works great as a blog post that can then be shared on social media. Same goes for a quick summary of how a company is structured and why it keeps them competitive. What’s happening in one’s industry that has the office abuzz can also be very interesting with a relevant spin.
Content need not be all about business, either. Personalizing your company adds warmth and keeps visitors engaged. Maybe someone in your plant is having a birthday, and wouldn’t mind sharing a few words about the colleagues or customers that have helped make it special. There’s also a better than average chance that there are pieces of literature or photos stuck on shelves or in filing cabinets that can be fashioned into a story – or history – of sorts. The key is to fashion all content to support your core messages as best you can. Everything within the walls of your business somehow relates to why you’re there. Following the threads can be interesting and illuminating.
As a final thought, SMS values our client relationships because we believe in their products and services. We primarily address the high-tech, industrial and manufacturing markets for many reasons and chief among them is that we take great pride in what our clients are proud of. We don’t need to find ways to dig out marketable value in what our clients do; our clients exist to make things that keep the world running. All we have to do is listen and spend as much time as we can learning about their markets and learning their language. We’ve been doing it for almost 40 years and maybe that’s why we ‘re confident we can help them serve the king.