The creation of abundant online content necessarily encouraged content curation, the practice of sifting through it to then share only the information that is most relevant to respective communities.
Always on RSS feeds allow for easily filtering content by selecting the best sources to include in curated streams. While there is value to this type of curation, it is less than what consumers expect today.
Consumers want fewer and better choices. This accounts for the success of Apple computer and the survival of several automobile companies, to name just a few.
Helping consumers make better choices is a trend that will enhance the success of your content marketing, and thereby contribute to building your small business.
Direct Community Experience is Relatable
The most valuable content will not necessarily be short or long, but it will be complete.
It will be thoroughly researched and validated by practical experience with defined communities. If you are a mainstream small business with decades of direct experience, this means you are ideally equipped to be a content marketing leader in your community, and quite possibly in your industry as well.
One of the reasons bloggers have more influence than some marketing agencies is their direct experience with the community – it makes them more relatable. As a result, their recommendations are more trustworthy.
In buying situations where there is risk (most of them), content from community insiders will naturally be the most valuable. This “wisdom of friends” that we presumed would be a by-product of Facebook is generally found within focused community and industry blogs.
The Best Content is Necessarily Community Focused
Not too long ago the best content was the most thorough. Extensive lists of tips were considered more valuable than shorter ones, so the trend for building longer form content gained momentum.
This practice is still somewhat relevant when you educate, however, to convert consumers into customers you have to help them make better choices. This requires applying your experience to limit choices to only a few.
To put this simply, choose or you lose.
There is risk associated with this because you may be wrong. Yet, there is more risk associated with not making a decision at all.
What is best for one community may not be right for another. Consumers understand this, and therefore naturally seek out those that can help them differentiate. This has traditionally been the role of the salesperson
The Sales Role of the Content Choice-Maker
The only true risk for traditional marketers is not satisfying the basic needs of their firms or customers. This is one reason why many marketers take the safe route to preserve their customer base.
However, when the salesperson fails everyone loses.
Marketing is now sales if it is going to be successful in the years ahead. When you personalize your marketing and make specific choices for your community, you are making sales recommendations.
My prediction is specific and focused recommendations for your communities will be vital moving forward. Nobody wants recommendations for 27 or even 12 social media tools anymore. They simply want the best 3 that will work for them. It’s the same with your business.
And they’ll believe you if you can back up your recommendations with your direct and proven experience.
Are you ready to be a content marketing choice-maker? That’s what I would do if I were you.
And that is what your customers want to hear from you – what you would do if you were them.
How are you helping your customers make better choices?
Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.
Until next time, Jeff