We hear people talk all the time about the importance of having good content and being a thought leader. You know why they’re talking about it? Because it’s really important! It’s important for both you and your business in this new digital economy. Late last year, google released a white paper on a consumer behavior called micro-moments. Essentially Google is telling brands that they need to do the following:
Be there. Especially on mobile. (According to the white paper we check our phones 150 times a day!)
Be useful. Provide content that solves a problem.
Be quick. Optimize your mobile experience.
What does having good content mean?
If your company sells bottled water, you should be creating content around all aspects of water. You need to be there as a thought leader when someone needs to know something on the subject and the content needs to be useful! It can’t be an article just loaded down with keywords…that’s so 2007.
Right now I’ve got a Karma Water, a probiotic water brand, on my desk. If I was so inclined to type, “What is a probiotic water?” into a Google search, wouldn’t Karma Water or any other probiotic water company want to be there to address that question? Probiotic water companies should be fighting for that. If they want to be known as the probiotic water thought leaders and convince people of the power of their water. Then they need to educate people and be there at the consumer’s time of need. If brands are not answering the questions that people are asking, they are not going to be successful thought leaders in the digital marketing age.
So, do I need to create a ton of content?
Yes. You need to create content if you want to compete and be relevant within the market. This is all about quality and regularity. Decisions are made online via computer and mobile devices. If you don’t show up in search results, you don’t exist to the consumer. How else are they going to find you? TV? Not for long. People are spending less time watching TV and more time online. Specifically on their phone. This year, according to Forrester Research, digital spend will outweigh television spend for advertisers for the first time in history. Digital media investments will near $120 billion within five years.
The brands who are currently thought leaders and the brands kick starting content initiatives now, have and will have, more trust and influence over their competitors and therefore will get more opportunities. Therefore, their competitors will also have to spend a ton more cash to catch up. Thus, creating more opportunities for the pioneering thought leaders. This is not a sales tactic. I’m telling you it’s coming, so do something about it! Don’t wait. It’s happening, so deal with it.
What is Google’s job?
When it comes to digital marketing, you have to keep in mind that Google’s job is to give us the very best result they can for our query. Google’s algorithm determines, in nanoseconds, who is trusted and who has the best information to answer the query. To gain that trust you need a content web that weaves the story around your area of expertise. The better your website is constructed to support the information, the more Google likes it. This is called information architecture. That’s pretty important stuff if you’re going to rank high in Google and be considered as a thought leader! Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way.
Timing is everything
Being fast is a critical part of serving the “I want it now!” consumer. As a thought leader, you need to have a blazing fast website that eliminates steps and anticipates needs. Consumers don’t have patience to wait for your page to load. If they can’t get to your content fast they will quickly bounce and go somewhere else.
You could be the tiniest business in a town. If you are creating useful content and optimizing your mobile experience you’re going to have a higher probability of bringing in new consumers and beating out your competitors. Bottom line: You’ll get more leads and get more customers.
Creating good content is not easy
Lastly, consistently creating good content is not easy. It takes action, follow through, and time. It doesn’t happen overnight and you have to commit to it. You can’t say, “I’m going to create good content that makes me a thought leader” and write one article a month. That’s not what good content is. Good content is constantly creating and sharing. They’re making their points known. They’re telling you the facts. They’re giving you their opinions and they’re telling you their story. Connect the dots for your consumers across screens, across channels, and across your teams. Put in the work and you’ll be rewarded in search results and customers.