The rise and growth of content marketing has virtually transformed the way that businesses interact with their prospects, customers and clients online. It has changed the expectations of what type of information can and should be available from businesses and it has empowered the consumer. And for all of this, context has become a very close second to content.
Content is still King, but…
The saying, “Content is king,” has held true for a very long time. On the web this has been a universal truth, through and through. But in today’s world, it’s no longer good enough simply to have content – this is where context takes over a bit. The content that’s developed has to be both valuable and perceived as valuable to make it worthwhile. In a sea of sameness, content has to stand out. And with that said, context must be considered for the following reasons.
1: We’re Beyond the Information Age
While you may be led to believe that we live in the Information Age, the truth is that we’ve hit the post-Information Age, more like the Information Overload Age, where no one needs more information, and everyone is just trying to keep their heads afloat because they’re drowning in information. In an environment like this, poor or mediocre content means nothing. It has to not only be valuable to the end-user, but stand out so it gets attention, so that it can be used. Context helps the end-user, your target audience members, whether something is useful or not. Users take cues from context to determine if something is even worth looking at or not.
2: We Want to Stay Out of Bad Neighborhoods
There are different facets of context online, including where your content gets found. For instance, if you’re featured as an Influencer on LinkedIn (or simply publishing on the same publishing platform as Influencers) and people see your latest article, the likelihood that they trust what you’re saying, or at least trust that you know what you’re talking about, is great. This has to do with what it says about you that you’re featured as an Influencer on LinkedIn – an exclusive designation by an incredibly high authority website.
Now contrast this with an article that’s published at a spammy article directory where nearly every author’s bio is linked back to some type of affiliate sales page. Quite a difference in the context, which skews the perceived value in your information, huh? So where your content is actually published matters, and keep in mind that real estate on page one of a Google search provides context to the user, as well.
3: What Others Are Saying Matters
The “Information Overload Age” has also been referred to as the “Recommendation Age” because we so heavily rely on those we trust to help us navigate all of the information out there. Couple that with the never-ending conversation happening on social and you have the perfect storm. What’s being said about your content – and business or brand – on social has merit to those hearing it. Whether accurate or not, people are being influenced by the chatter and this will affect business. This is just another reason why you can’t afford not to be on and actively listening, at minimum, on social. For your content’s sake, social media can make your content more trusted with some support, and even help it go viral if it’s really that good.
Bundle these three points together and the takeaway is simple – create unique and useful content that your audience wants. Take that content and put it in places where your audience looks for their go-to information and where they hang out. Then stand back and let it work its magic and get spread around.
Lastly, be sure to monitor social interactions related to your content to clarify and assist those who might have questions, objections or need further help. You just might find yourself a new customer.