Get Organized Around Content

How many new blog posts or web pages does your company publish every week? 5? 3? 1? Inconsistent? Do you really expect to scale web traffic, conversions and community if you don’t consistently show up? If you do, you’re dreaming.

It’s simple, let’s not wrap it in buzzwords: organize around content. For a majority of companies your digital marketing is screwed if you’re not functioning any other way.

You can’t rely on a limited set of pages any longer

In fact, smart companies haven’t for years. As search and social continue to integrate tighter those sites that have a continually expanding archive of useful, sharable content just keep getting rewarded while static websites continue to get more dusty and irrelevant. There’s just no reason for us to share static web pages with our networks or a reason for users to return to them.

Users are getting smarter

Years ago I started noticing that Google search queries were getting longer. This was really exciting for me as a digital marketer – it meant that yes, in fact people were getting smarter about search (hey, if I’m more specific with my query, I get better results!). What does this mean? If this trend continues, your 1 and 2 word queries that filled your marketing funnel for years are going to dry up, while the tail continues to broaden. Demand Media organized themselves around this years ago, and they’re still ahead of the curve of most marketers. Don’t get out-executed in your category by the answer factory.

Most of your competitors are still getting content marketing wrong

What is the first thing that happens to me every morning? Do I brush my teeth? No! I wake up and have a bit of a surreal moment that it is 2011 most companies still haven’t pivoted their marketing to embrace the fact that every company is a media company. Then I brush my teeth. All joking aside, your competitors are definitely failing at web content. It isn’t going to be such an easy opportunity simply to execute properly forever, but it still is today. Get organized around content and you’re probably already ahead.

Content shouldn’t be such a big deal

Mitch Joel wrote a great post this week wondering if a brands next big move will be a journalism department? I responded on Twitter with the comment, that only the smart ones will. Call it a journalism department, or just call it the future of marketing: content shouldn’t be so difficult for brands. Not just journalists: marketers should be able to create well researched, compelling stories efficiently (and daily). Get in a rhythm with it and it’s not so tough. I am willing to bet right now you think content is more difficult than it has to be. It’s easy: make an editorial calendar, create processes, tap your passionate team members, create a feedback loop to continue motivation, and iterate and refine.

Microcontent only takes you so far

Yeah, your brand is probably sharing other people’s interesting content on sites like Twitter or Facebook. Great. That can help, and in fact once in awhile I’m impressed a company shared a link with me that’s thought provoking and useful. But at the end of the day I am always left impacted more by the original creator of that content. It might help me view a brand as more of a source for interesting information, but it doesn’t necessary position them as a definitive leader in their industry. There is a difference. Links and microcontent only take you so far.

Things you already know

Yes, put people behind content, create context, have an attractive design, make it sticky / worth sharing and promote it. That stuff should all be understood by now. But organize around content first, then back out your mix from there. Every CMO and marketing VP should demand this of their team: publish something new and unique every day. Be updated.

Businesses basically have a choice in the new marketing: they can be a part of the daily conversations in their industry, or not. There is no in between.

I know this stuff seems obvious. To Future Buzz readers it is. But to the marketing world as a whole it is to some, but not to many others.

The digital divide is still very real: don’t wait to take advantage of it.

Post image via: Viral Images the Web Shared in 2011