May 20, 2010

Web Content is a Brand Asset

The war for mindshare is no longer waged on television sets and billboards.  It’s being waged online, and it’s being driven by content.

In the old days mega-brands were built on advertising.  Companies like Nike, Coca-Cola and McDonalds spent billions of dollars in advertising to seed their brands in consumers’ minds.  And it worked.  They stayed on message, created a consistent brand experience, and outspent their competitors.  The more they invested in advertising, the larger they grew.  The larger they grew, the more they could spend.  Essentially they created an advertising juggernaut.

A similar juggernaut is forming online, but it’s being driven by content.

Building Barriers to Entry

The Web rewards consistency.  The more content you produce on a specific subject, the more relevant you become online.  You see it in three key ways:

  1. Higher search rank
  2. More followers and referrals in social media
  3. Increased relevance as a trust agent

Today, we all have an opportunity to build our voice and our presence in our respective industries.  The companies that invest the most in their online communities and produce valuable content on a regular basis are creating protectable brand assets.

You can see it already.  Look at your industry.  Who is producing the most content online?  (Hopefully it’s you.)  Now look at the barriers these firms are creating.  What would it take for other companies to catch up to them online?  How much content would they have to produce?  How many followers would they have to get?  What search rank would they have to achieve?  The firms that are actively investing in digital marketing are building a substantial head start.

Time is of the Essence

The challenge is only going to grow.  Companies have already jumped into digital marketing with both feet, and are actively producing content.  Now it is a race of who can produce the most content and build the largest communities.

The war for content is only just beginning.  If you haven’t jumped in, you still have an opportunity to find your voice, carve out a niche and draw a following.  But you don’t have a lot of time.  With every day that passes the barriers to entry grow higher and higher.

The formula is straight forward.  The more you invest in online communities and content, the greater the competitive advantage you can achieve.  It’s a game of volume and relevance, and now is the time.  Think of the upside.  Maybe you can take advantage of this growing platform, and build a mega-brand of the future.

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