Content is Everywhere
Everywhere you look, your brain is being filled with content.
Think about that for a moment: When you go to the mall, you are surrounded by stores with advertising in the windows, or if you go to Time Square in New York City, the signs silently scream at you to buy a product. Of course, those are just obvious places where content is being shoved at you. I am sure you have a smartphone of some sort, and whenever you use it to view social media, play games, or listen to music, content is right there grabbing your attention either subconsciously or consciously. Magazines, newspapers, and news broadcasts are also culprits that are meticulous about ad placement and word selection, all to grab your attention.
I personally love the idea of content being everywhere because knowledge is at your fingertips and companies are doing their best to help you out in some way. The reason these companies want to help is to build a relationship of trust so that you may eventually go back to them to buy their product.
I consume content in various forms, everywhere I go. I listen to podcasts filled with information and product placements whenever I drive down the road. Oftentimes, the host of a show will read advertisements of sponsors with the hopes of giving you the feeling that if the host uses the product, so will the listener. Howard Stern is the self-proclaimed master of the live advertisement, and throughout his show he tells his listeners how great Tommy John underwear feels, how wonderful he feels after relieving himself using a Squatty Potty toilet, and how happy his wife gets when he purchases jewelry or gold-dipped roses from IHateStevenSinger.com.
And that is just one place I consume content from advertisers.
I subscribe to several magazines that have advertisements placed on nearly every page. I receive the New York Times both digitally and in print and get content from every direction. I watch YouTube videos with advertisements placed at the beginning and periodically throughout the video, and I stream television shows on my Roku, oftentimes laced with commercials throughout the programs.
Content has its biggest impact on me when it comes from people I trust, and that is one of the keys to content strategy.
Between 2001 and 2009, I worked for a company that built websites for automotive dealership groups throughout the country. Prior to the job, I never focused on using content for a company’s advantage. Sure, we provided websites, but we also provided tips and tricks that helped the dealership gain trust from the customer.
It started with offering forms throughout the site for the customer to contact the dealership in some way, whether to test drive a vehicle, learn more about LoJack, get pre-qualified for a vehicle, or schedule service. I recommended that some dealerships post videos on the site to show how to maintain a vehicle or to talk about things that customers may appreciate. I also recommended creating pages of text and images that could be picked up by search engines and improve placement, while also informing the customers about the latest cars.
All these strategies were used to help the dealership create a library of content for the customers. Ultimately, I was providing a service to the dealership with the intent of the dealership getting its best return on investment.
Since then, the digital realm has only flourished. Social media is used to reach out to friends and family, but also by news organizations and companies to promote content. Podcasts have grown exponentially and is only just beginning to see what they can provide to listeners. The ability to post videos on the fly and go viral has also grown, and companies want to produce the next viral video or content. This is not to say video is new, because it is not. In fact, I remember a site put together in 2005 or so by Burger King that consisted of a chicken sitting in a room. If you typed instructions to the chicken, it would follow your commands. As odd as it was, the site and video went viral.
Like I mentioned in the beginning: Content is everywhere. How you choose to consume it, is up to you.