by Rachel Happe, Co-founder of The Community Roundtable
I hear the phrase ‘content is king’ thrown around a LOT. Great content is certainly a critical component of any digital strategy – it’s a keystone of what we do at TheCR – but on its own it is insufficient.
I’m always waiting for the other shoe to drop when it comes to great content.
Why? Watch this:
What do we do once everyone is creating content? Imagine if the dynamic we see on Twitter happened in real life. Hundreds of people and companies stopping by your desktop to dump reams of paper, while you try to catch the things that are actually useful.
The answer in the above presentation? You need to build a great content brand.
But that answer seems insufficient. There are several issues that I see:
- First, there are a lot of sources of amazing information that I routinely miss because of the sheer volume that goes by on my desktop. Will people pay attention to your content just because they trust your brand? I don’t think so.
- Second, content is not the ultimate goal. It’s a tactic to achieve the goal of getting people’s attention and hopefully, building trust so that they DO something. So by definition, content cannot be the entire solution, but that discussion seems to often get lost in the frenzy to build content engines.
In my mind, the end goal of marketing is to get someone to change behavior – to select your product instead of another, to solve a problem with the solution you are offering or to advocate on your behalf.
Behavior change requires three things, according to The Power of Habit:
- The mechanics of the the change, which content often provides
- Faith that change/a solution is possible and desirable
- A community that reinforces the change
Behavior change is unlikely to be inspired by content alone. Relationships are what inspire, reinforce and extend behavior change.
So my question is this…
Are you thinking about how your content feeds into a community where people can build relationships that inspire and reinforce changes in behavior?
If you are not, are you wasting money creating great content, but not supporting the behavior change with a community to reinforce it?
It’s worthwhile spending some time thinking about the UX (user experience) and the HX (human experience) that comes before and after your content because if you can deliver your content at the point of need and then follow-it up with reinforcing relationships you will dramatically effect the impact of your content.