Telling the truth about SME life today

For growing businesses, 2015 will be all about content

Investing more and more in content-led strategies, brands are making a move from being advertisers to becoming fully fledged publishers; companies such as Net-a-Porter, ASOS and Airbnb even publish their own branded magazines.

However, the move towards publishing is not just for big established brands; it marks a major opportunity for businesses of any size and it is driven by three primary factors: capturing attention, influencing choice and cost.

With so much background noise it is becoming increasingly difficult for brands to stand out from the crowd. In an average day, consumers are exposed to more than 3,500 advertising messages a figure that has increased tenfold since the 1970s. In response to poor quality, consumers have begun to filter out those advertising messages – either by skimming over them or by using software to block them completely.

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This is where content comes in. Whether in the form of video, graphics or the written word, content allows brands to make the crucial leap from talking at consumers to sharing with them. This in turn makes content far more memorable – after all you probably dont remember any of the ads in this mornings paper, but theres a good chance you remember one of the articles.

The second problem that content addresses, is how brands can help consumers to make purchasing decisions online. The Internet has allowed retailers to offer a far greater range of products than they can stock in a physical premises, and beyond a certain point, consumers become overwhelmed and stop buying at all. Good, informative content allows brands to overcome that barrier by providing whats missing online – the equivalent of a shopping assistant.

Finally, buying ad space can be prohibitively expensive, particularly for young, entrepreneurial businesses trying to make an impression on the market. Content can be a more cost-effective way of reaching, acquiring and retaining customers.
Content can also be tailored to additional languages and cultures in a way that advertising budgets rarely permit. In a globalised economy, the ability to quickly and cost-effectively localise your content could be key to embedding your brand in more than one market.

Read on how to grow your content:

2015 will see more and more brands move towards content-led marketing strategies in order to differentiate themselves, however their objective should not be to publish more; it should be to publish better and with their consumers front of mind.

Ed Bussey is CEO and founder of Quill.

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