Sunday, 6 March 2011

The big lie about content strategy

"What is the big lie about content strategy?" Lee Odden from Toprank starts his SES London presentation with a question and immediately answers it himself: "Build it and they will come".

Lee explains to a room packed with people slowly melting (no air-conditioning, nightmare!) that if you have great content you need to set it free. I guess this is really what I described as content curation in a previous blog post. Though it's since been pointed out to me that when most people talk about content curation they're talking about content they don't actually own and didn't create. I guess that's the journalist in me, assuming you'd have actually written the content you want you curate!

Anyway, I digress... So the big lie is that creating a whole bunch of great content and sticking it on a website is enough. I suppose it really depends on whether people already come to the website you're creating the content for. But even if you have a strong brand and a popular website, you still need to make sure people can find your content. It's painful to witness, brands with awesome content squirrelled away in a bit of the site where people are never going to visit or even find. This is where Lee stresses the importance of "understanding what your customers wants in terms of consumption, discovery and sharing."

Lee believes that by failing to provide useful content many retail websites are failing to give good customer service. He says it's about creating lots of different touch points in the customer life cycle, not just influencing customers to buy but also influencing them through out their life. "Content must educate and make it easy to follow a logical conclusion to buy." Content on ecommerce websites... another blog post in it's own right.

Read more from Lee on the Toprank website, or via his Twitter feed.

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