What is content and why is it so important?
Wrriten by: Rosalba Rojas | September 25, 2017
Everyone talks about it, but we need to start by answering the question: what is content?
Put simply, content is the “information” that is held within a “platform.” By “information” we mean everything from images, text, video, audio and visuals to infographics, GIFs, code, and so on. And by “platform” we mean any given media such as a corporate website, a blog, a book, a magazine, an app, a newspaper, a TV channel, a radio station, or even a lecture.
So, if you want your communication to be effective, the content defines the success or failure of a platform—hence its importance! This might sound easy, but creating content is difficult and measuring its effectiveness is even harder.
For several years the term “content marketing” has been in vogue. Countless specialist agencies have emerged, but the term essentially means creating specific content to support your marketing strategies and to have a positive impact on your brand. In reality, this is an activity that predates the term itself. What has dramatically changed is the way this content is generated, and the sophistication of its reliance on data. This is why, before you begin to generate content it is VERY important to be clear about who it is aimed at, and why you are investing time, energy and possibly money in it.
The “positive impact” on the brand may be understood in different ways, all of which are correct, for example: drawing in potential clients, increasing sales, positioning in consumers’ minds, brand knowledge, obtaining information about your consumers, growing your network, and so on.
How the content is presented is also part of the success or failure… Currently we are so bombarded by brands that we end up being repelled by direct and blatant promotion of brands (above all of products). No doubt you have felt something like this when you receive repeated unwanted sales calls or unsolicited emails. But if the brand creates content that is interesting to its clients, they won’t be annoyed but rather attracted to it, as it may be useful or of interest to them, and it will spread organically.
This is the basic idea behind content marketing, and also gives rise to so-called “native” media. In these media the content appears to be organic but for the most part is paid, meaning it is disguised promotional content, yet it is not annoying because it attracts people’s curiosity. An example of this is Buzzfeed. Currently, many people get their news through social networks, which is another reason why native advertising has grown so rapidly.
Now, we might ask why an architect has to produce content. We know that architects can work for years on a single project, from the concept to the first sketches, the schematic phase, the executive documents, supervision of works, client relations, bureaucratic procedures, and so on. Each phase and process requires KNOWLEDGE and offers EXPERIENCE. So the answer is: because no one wants to hire an architect who has no experience!
Therefore, this can be communicated in many different ways, the important point being to decide on your platforms (website, social networks, blog, forums, publications…) and create the specific content for each of them according to your goals.
If you want to follow the recommendations of the series “Marketing for architects” and specifically this chapter, I recommend you review the current status of your chosen platform(s) so that you can account for the improvement and impact of the content you generated in a tangible fashion.