Your Content is a Product

A common problem we see is organizations creating content without much of a focused strategy. One way to start to get around that is to think of your marketing content as a PRODUCT your organization is SELLING.

If you were creating a product you'd be thinking about WHO is buying it, the VALUE it's providing to those customers, what you should be asking for in EXCHANGE for that product. How that product is positioned in the market against the COMPETITION.

You can ask these same questions about your content...and when I say "content", I mean ALL your marketing. TV commercials, radio, blog posts, website copy. EVERYTHING.

Who is the Customer?

Who's the audience? Who's the consumer of this content? What do they care about? What will make this epic for them?

You can ask this about TV commercials. You can ask it about blog posts. You can ask it about social posts.

Here's an example: Check out our the old blog posts on our website. I'm keeping them there as an example of what NOT to do. I used our blog as a testing ground for some ideas over the years, but never really spent much time on it.

But if you read those posts, you can see I didn't know WHO my audience was. We have super technical WordPress topics, posts on really in-the-weeds, advanced PPC topics. It's all over the place. Most of it is WAY too tactical and WAY too detailed for our target audience.

That's because the people making decisions to hire us are CMOs, marketing managers, business owners in some cases. They don't care about coding WordPress. They pay us or someone else to do that.

Think about WHO your audience is...who's making the buying decisions or who is INFLUENCING those buying decisions and speak to them. This can be surprisingly hard sometimes so spend time on it.

What's its value prop?

When you think about your content as a product you're selling to your audience - and by "content" I mean EVERYTHING you're creating for marketing (TV, radio, blog posts, EVERYTHING) - when you think about each of those things as a PRODUCT you're SELLING to your audience, you can ask questions like "what's the value proposition of this piece of content?"

In other words: Why would anyone care? The more people care the more effective your marketing will be.

Who's the competition?

Who is your content competing with? A lot of B2B verticals are WAY behind in marketing. Because of that, if you're a B2B manufacturer, for example, you can gain A LOT more ground for A LOT less effort than, say, a consumer clothing brand.

That same B2B manufacturer will have a much easier time in SEO too. Whereas the clothing brand is competing with every fashion and lifestyle blogger, magazine, and retailer on the planet for rankings.

The same concept is applicable to ANY advertising channel. That clothing brand is going to need to get creative or spend a LOT of money on TV to compete with the likes of Nike or Adidas. But maybe on TikTok they won't.

The competition can influence the channel you go to, the quality of the content you need to create, and how much you need to spend.

What's the price?

Why does EVERY good TV show, movie, book...why does EVERY piece of good content need to hook you right away? Because you're making an INVESTMENT in consuming that're paying a PRICE. And you're not going to pay that price if you don't get something in return that you perceive to be valuable enough to warrant the exchange.

A TV show has to get you excited in the first 5 minutes. They're giving you something of value BEFORE you invest your time in watching the entire show.

If you're asking for my email to download your whitepaper, it's going to take more convincing to get me to give you my email than it would to get me to read the same content in a blog post.

This can sometimes be a GOOD thing. Getting too many unqualified leads through your contact form? Increase the PRICE to complete the form (add more required fields) and you'll start to filter out the people who weren't as serious about working with you or buying your product.

Sometimes your brand ALONE could contribute to that perceived value. If Dr. Dre put out a tweet offering a free course on how to produce a hip hop album, he wouldn't have to do ANY selling...he'd get more emails than he knew what to do with. But you and me? We'd have to sell the hell out of a course like that to get ANY emails. The perceived value just isn't as high.

John Crenshaw
John Crenshaw
UFO company founder. 15+ years experience in performance marketing.
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