The story of neglected content

January tends to be a month of planning. Most of us plan to eat healthier food, drink less, exercise more and find more time to do good stuff for ourselves and others.

When it comes to our businesses, plans are more likely to focus on targets, budgets and campaigns. All good stuff – and very much a necessary part of staying on track.

Less prominent in the lists of those wishing to make a significant impact on 2019, however, is the small detail relating to ‘How’. It’s all very well to set challenging numbers against the frequency of social media posts, tweets, blogs and the like but at RDZ we’d certainly like to see a little more consideration be given to the actual CONTENT.

We’re not for a moment suggesting that businesses tend to write nonsense just for the sake of getting something ‘out there’, indeed many posts are interesting at least, thought-provoking on occasion. Our biggest bugbear is that content often ignores the need to really make the company who are tweeting / posting / blogging stand out against everyone else who are doing more-or-less the same thing.

At RDZ we’re not in the business of offending our clients or the clients of others but it is fairly safe to say that the offerings of one firm of accountants may, to the untrained eye, look very much like those of the dozen or so others in the locality. Of course, in this example, ‘accountants’ could be replaced with lawyers, financial planners, architects, builders, estate agents, PR consultants… indeed most occupations. What we are getting at is the fact that simply listing the services offered and using generic terminology such as ‘family’, ‘bespoke’, ‘friendly’, ‘no-nonsense’ etc. is just not enough in this current age where content is most definitely King.

The key to being successful and achieving impact (isn’t that the ultimate objective?) is to worry less about providing a comprehensive menu of services and instead focus on what is truly at the heart of the company. There’s an initial element of homework involved in this we accept, but the time taken aside to think about what truly differentiates what you do from everything else out there is time very well spent. When we are in planning mode with our own clients, we ask them to put themselves in the position of their target market and ask what the most important part of the buying consideration might be. In effect, we’re looking for the feature which will be the shining beacon attracting the potential customer to their shop window and away from the throng of others who are also trying to win their patronage.

There will be some reading this blog who will immediately think about price. Low prices do, in some cases, attract a lot of attention but, even in financially challenging times, people generally want more than just a low initial cost. Now, if the service you are offering will decrease other costs on an on-going basis, that might just be something worth talking about, especially when it comes to B2B sales. More often that not, the key to successful differentiation lies in the culture/ personality of a business and this comes back to our earlier point on identifying what your business is all about and then getting that across in good, quality content. You may have a particular affinity with family businesses for example, but rather than simply stating that ‘we support family businesses’ why not tell a story which shows that you truly understand the challenges that sector faces in today’s trading environment. Stories of how problems have been solved or opportunities have been identified is not only great reading, it encourages the reader to put themselves in the position of the person who benefitted and imagine how they too could be helped. We all respond to a positive story (the popularity of ratings and feedback sites reinforce this) and great content is, in our humble opinion, only good storytelling after all.