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“Brands are still creating more content, but it's held to a higher standard by customers.”

Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing

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“Today, what differentiates an average company from a great company is talent.”

Wade Burgess, Linkedin

Decoding Modern Marketing

6. CONTENT CREATION

With the proliferation of high speed broadband, especially on mobile networks, consumer preference for video content has skyrocketed. According to Cisco 85% of internet traffic will be video by 2019. This has put even more pressure on brands to create video content that not only supports the cultivation process, but also rises above the undifferentiated noise. All brand content doesn’t have to be an Academy Award winner. It does, however, have to be relevant, engaging, unique and reflective of your brand identity. In practice this is often harder than it sounds because producing an on-going stream of effective content is a challenge for most companies. While your cultivation process for prospects may be fed by a library of fairly evergreen content, your customers, and perhaps many of your prospects, will still need fresh content, delivered continuously, to stay engaged with your brand until they are ready to buy. You may burn through all your value proposition content with a prospect and still not close the deal because the time is just not right. That leaves you with the task of staying connected until they become ready; relying less on selling and more on engagement, just to stay connected.

MODERN MARKETING REQUIRES THAT COMPANIES PRODUCE AND DISTRIBUTE ENGAGING CONTENT ALL THE TIME IN ORDER TO STAY TOP-OF-MIND.

Ensuring that your content is good enough to accomplish that is a tall order in the competitive content environment we find ourselves.

One reason companies find it so hard to make good content is that it is a very different discipline from what they do everyday. Manufacturing and distributing products or being a retailer is a completely different world from developing content strategy, making videos, creating compelling blog posts, writing thought-leadership articles, or producing custom photography. Some brands set-up an in-house team to do this, or work with an agency. Either can be effective if you have a team blessed with the experience and talents for this kind of work.

GREAT CONTENT IS OFTEN AS MUCH, IF NOT MORE, ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE AND ABILITIES OF THE TEAM VERSUS THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT IS SPENT.

The challenge is to produce original, engaging, quality work consistently over time. This doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive, because sometimes a simple approach is more appropriate. But it does mean that the strategic and creative sensibilities, and originality of the work must be of the highest order. If your content is like everything else out there, it will not be likely to be, viewed, shared, or create much brand preference. With virtually every company, with a video camera and an intern, who can write a couple of lines, producing enormous amounts of bland, undifferentiated content, it really doesn’t make sense to enter this contest unless you have the commitment and resources to do what’s necessary to win.

The challenge to having an in-house team is finding the right people. With the growth of content production, experienced, talented writers, designers and producers are in short supply. Conversely working with an agency can be a slow and expensive business. If the job is to produce a TV commercial once a year, many agencies can do very well with the typical budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars. But if you have to produce, for example, a video every week for a fraction of that budget, the cost structure and production approach of many agencies usually doesn’t work. It is essential to get this piece of the puzzle right, because your content is the last mile, the final connection point, and will determine if all your work to put the right message in front of your target consumer, at the right time, is successful or for naught. Creating content for digital requires consistently excellent creative and production quality, speed to market and affordable costs. Few agencies have that experience or capability.