Control of your content strategy… it’s time to let go.
I don’t mean you shouldn’t plan your content. Editorial calendars are still important and a great way to keep everyone in your company informed and organized in their content creation. What I mean, is that where that content is posted may not be as important as you think. In business-dense areas like Basel, this may come as a shock to larger companies… and it may be music to the ears of smaller ones.
In the beginning, and for a long time, it was vitally important that your content was hosted on your company website. Like a lighthouse guiding the information-seeking seafarers through the darkness of the internet, your words would be the rescue they were seeking. And for that very reason, that salvation HAD to live on your company website, otherwise how would the lost (or Google) know who or what was supplying their information needs?
Fast forward to 2017. It turns out people are not as dumb as we originally thought. They are more than capable of a doing bit of research on their own. They know how to use Google, they know how to search and share on Facebook and LinkedIn. Connecting the digital dots is becoming less important in their minds. And so:
The quality of your content and the information it provides is FAR more important than the URL on which it resides.
And yes, that includes both owned and earned media. This post from Buzzsumohighlights how Brian Dean of Backlinko was able to pull 4 million visitors to his site over the past 5 years with only 53 blog posts. He achieved this through posting high quality and valuable content.
Not convinced? Well, here’s a great example: Huffington Post.
6 years ago, getting content posted on Huffington Post was quite an achievement. In doing so, you were all but guaranteed to start being seen as an influencer. Then things began to change. Guest posts on Huffington Post began reading a bit, well… childish. The forward-thinking, challenging content that Huffington Post had built its reputation on was being replaced with gossip columns, politically slanted opinion pieces and even advertorials. And people noticed. Over the next few years it became less and less common for someone to cite the Huffington Post when they needed to make a point. The graph below shows exactly how people view its credibility.
Example number 2: Wikipedia.
In the early days of Wikipedia, the information found was always taken with a grain of salt. It was sort of a 50/50 chance that it was correct. It was bad enough, in fact, that the University I attended banned it as a source for citing. As time went on, and more and more people began making edits, adding and deleting information, Wikipedia began to shine a bit brighter. It is now regarded as a fully credible source.
The point is that the quality of the content found on these sites formed their respective reputations. It was not the name of the website itself.
For some businesses in Basel this may be great news! For others, it may not be so great. What this means is that creating content simply for the sake of filling up a blog, is no longer good enough. You can’t rely as much on the strength of the company name found in the URL. In order to become and to remain viewed as an influencer, you must always think of the user first.
The great news is that this continues to even the playing field. For smaller businesses in the greater Basel and Baden-Württemberg area it means you have the opportunity to really shine in the region by crafting content that serves the user, answers questions and informs them. Whether that content is found on Facebook, LinkedIn, your company site, a third-party site… whatever. The point is that you
GO WHERE THE AUDIENCE IS and meet their needs.
For larger businesses it means you can’t take your eye off the ball. In order to remain seated as an influencer in your respective field you have to continually prove it.
Of course, in the end your content strategy is an important piece of your larger Inbound Marketing campaign, and it should be valued and treated as such.