October 13, 2015


content advantage

What is the content advantage?

Well, it’s about using content to power up your business.

Because content is the new advertising, the new PR, the new market research, the new messaging and communications.

But better.

Articles, blog posts, videos, visuals - you name it. Good content creates awareness, interest, desire. It generates leads, sales, repeat customers.

Except better.

It builds on traditional marketing: It soups up branding, positioning, differentiation - all of that.

But it adds a whole slew of new possibilities: Audiences, communities, “tribes”. Good content is relationship-marketing gone wild.

And visibility. Let's not forget getting seen. Content gets you into the conversation, into view. It gives you a presence, a voice, a kind of relevance and authority.

It Does All This How Exactly?

What is it that makes content so potent?

Because it’s content - and only content - that can exploit the tools, the technologies, the platforms. 

Content is the way to max out on those things because content is why those things were created in the first place.

Content is why Google exists.

Content is why WordPress exists.

Content is why Facebook exists, too.

Actually content is why all search, all social, and all content marketing exists.

Want to show up in search, in social? Want traffic, awareness, incoming links?

Try content.

When Everything Moves In Your Favor

The most astonishing thing in my experience with content is this: If you get the content right, then everything starts to move in your favor.

Every. Thing.

The tech, the culture, the channels, the whole dynamic of the web. Moving, not against you, but with you. 

Awareness grows. Shares start.  Traffic flows.  Followership, buzz, likes, clicks, retweets, and what have you. They all kick in.

If the content is designed right and is seriously good - if you can develop what I call a great content act - then getting the response becomes much much easier.

That kind of mega-response, that mass movement, happened to me twice. And each time I was able to build a multi-million dollar business out of it.

And in essence I did it through the kind of content that really exploited the bigger potential.

But Beware

Content disguised as advertising won't do that - won't have those effects.

Content is not advertising. It’s the un-advertising. The un-marketing.

People have to opt-in for your content.

And millions of people do just that for content every day. They ask for content, sign-up for the stuff.

Do they sign up for advertising? I don't think so.

The distinction may seem trite. It’s not trite.

Because not one in ten business professionals understands this difference. Most are unaware that they're locked in an old advertising mentality that they just can't shake - you cannot shake what you do not notice.

Which is to say that these people are trying to fit their content into an, tell-and-sell paradigm. And in reality they're not doing content at all - they're doing advertising by another name.

Advertising disguised as content won't cut it.

Nor can you just stuff the channels with token content and expect the advantage for your business. We know this because most companies already are using token content. And it's clear that they’re going approximately nowhere with it.

You see, a mere presence on a social site doesn't mean you're exploiting content for anything like its potential.

A mere presence on a platform in itself will not move audiences to think or feel or act in new ways.

So, yes, content is the way, the mechanism, that brings buyers and sellers together. Your customers make no purchase of any significance without research, without information, without content.

But it has to be the right kind of content. It has to be designed for the audience and designed for a set of outcomes.

No token content. No filler content. No content for the sake of it.

It has to be the kind of content that creates leverage for your business. 

Leverage For Your Business

The ability build a public following - to build an online brand and lead a kind of movement - is non-negotiable.

This is the nature of the online challenge. Every organization, every individual who faces the public must develop this ability to build awareness, traffic, and lead activity.

Your YouTube channel,  corporate website, blog, or podcast - whatever it is you do with content - it has to grab attention, build a following, grow the business, change something.

Your content, in other words, has to get people to do stuff - notice, respond, read, comment, subscribe, and so on.

But in the end it’s not the channels in themselves bring this about.

The channels facilitate movement but they do not drive it.

Instead, it’s what you put into the channels that counts.

It's the content that builds brands and changes minds.

The content is the substance, the meaning, the significance. And it's only the content that influences people, moves them to act, connects in that human way.

Content is where the leverage for your business lies.

So much of the talk about social media misses the point: Because the fact is that content existed long before any of the platforms. And content will be there long after they fade away.

So, if you want to get better at search engine marketing, at social media, at content marketing and a lot more, then study the stuff that makes them work - study content. Master content.

The skill of creating/managing content to make something happen is the ultimate skill to have now.

It gives you what I call the content advantage.

And you don’t want to miss the content advantage.