Oh, yeah. Then there’s what you say.

There’s a joke in Hollywood about a starlet who understands so little about the movie business that she beds the screenwriter.  Treating the words like the last priority is not exclusive to digital marketing.  But it is a prevailing wind for which we have to adjust if we are determined to succeed.

“But they didn’t write a line of code!”

The Oscar-nominated screenplay for The Social Network shows  Mark Zuckerberg in legal depositions for the suit brought against him by the Winklevoss twins, who asked him to develop a social network for them before Facebook appeared.  Mark protests, “But they didn’t write a line of code!” The value of having the idea seems lower than the technology today, and this is not the only place to notice it.  It’s interesting, too, that the initial content of Facebook was hacked from dorm directories – not exactly “original sin,” but still another assumption that content is free and easy.

Don’t pass up the power.

Results and research remind us again and again that the quality of content can dramatically increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our marketing.  Get somebody good to write it.  Engage your whole team to cultivate compelling packages, offers, and experiences that set you apart in your consumer messages.  Make it an ongoing conversation.

Worth TEN thousand words

Plan to budget for images.  They’re important in any communication, and they’re even more important in the digital environment.  Some of us have vistas, some of us have diagrams, some have beautiful products, some have fascinating customers that set us apart. Some even have all of the above. We’ve got to show it.  And it’s really surprising how many marketers rely too much on stock photography.  Haven’t you seen competing Web sites using the same shot?  I have.

It’s not hard.  It’s just demanding.

The process of developing effective content for marketing has to be managed – and people are involved.  Nothing about it is automatic, and that may be the main reason why we see a preference today for the technology answer over the conceptual answer.  Today, especially, we feel the pressures to look for a fast answer that’s not debatable.  What can I prove, count, control?  What can I get answers on, right away?  What will the boss (the Board) go for?  What can I support convincingly?

So let’s take a look.

We’ll devote the next couple of posts to a roadmap for developing effective content in the digital age.  This isn’t a cause or a debate over what is more important – even the best-of-the-best in marketing technology say, “Content is king.”  It’s just a subject that needs a little “how-to” attention.  And we’ll offer that here.

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