Content factory

The Internet LOVES content. The only thing the Internet loves more than content is relevant and timely content that is updated frequently. Businesses that win in the age of online marketing will embrace that fact that they need to evolve into content factories.

Of course it’s not as if producing content is new for marketing people. We do it all the time. The difference in the online era is that content is now A) free or nearly free to produce in digital form and B) free or nearly free to distribute to the world. This is a significant departure from the days when options were limited to broadcast television, radio, newspapers, magazines, and billboards as the primary means of delivering marketing messages. If you spend thousands (or millions) of dollars to produce an ad and then have to spend 10x that to actually run it there is going to be a very finite limit to the frequency with which you can update your messaging. And once the budget runs out the message, for all practical purposes, goes away.

Marketing on the Internet is different. Producing digital content can be as easy and inexpensive as typing a blog entry. You can do it as often as you want and the incremental cost is essentially free. Sending out 10,000 direct mail pieces costs thousands of dollars. Sending a digital newsletter to 10,000 subscribers via email is nearly free. Same thing with online video. With a video camera that costs less than dinner at a nice steakhouse you can shoot and edit video that can then be uploaded to YouTube for free and distributed worldwide. Blendtec has done a brilliant job of leveraging this concept.

When you feed the content-loving Internet with frequently updated, relevant content about your business the foundation of a powerful online presence is built. Just having a website is not enough. You want to have a presence. The good news is that there are very few barriers to creating all this stuff. The bad news is that many businesses aren’t doing it yet.

If you have been slow to start an ongoing content creation and distribution strategy for the Internet, start one now. Add value to your website on a continuous basis. Your customers want to know more about who you are, what you do, and why you do it. Publish information regularly so that each time your customers come back there is something new to engage them. Give them plenty of ways to join the conversation and then listen to the feedback you get.

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~ by stevetriplett on March 11, 2008.

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