Content as Currency Might Be The Most Popular Strategy, But It Shouldn’t Be Your Only One

By April 7, 2016Bitcoin Business
Click here to view original web page at www.forbes.com

I’ve been writing lately about content — visual content, thought leadership content— but what I’ve also heard in the last six to twelve months to be just as important to brands is simply having a robust content strategy in the first place. What should it be like?

My theory had been that the best way for brands to think about content is as “currency” — an asset to trade with customers. I had thought this was absolutely brilliant because it made content more than something a brand pushes out like broadcast, but instead recognized a two-way street for it. Imagine the market as a bustling marketplace of ideas and experiences between brands and customers. Standing at your stand for Brand X, if you could simply be a magnet with something people want, the right customers will approach willing and ready. The online how-to video teaches. The ebook persuades. The infographic provides proof. Valuable content through the currency lens is what you can exchange with customers for data, consideration, preference or service —in bytes or bitcoin.

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In working with Altimeter on our new Key Elements in Building a Content Strategy report, one of the key findings that widened my perspective is that Content as Currency is actually only one of five archetypes that can help shape a company’s content vision and strategy. Talking to brands as diverse as Charles Schwab, General Motors, REI, The Economist and VMWare, we identified four other really solid archetypes: Content as Presence; Content As Window; Content as Community; and Content as Support. They’re each interesting in their own right with great examples of brands executing them even now. Content as Presence gets you out there in the mix, boosting or sustaining your awareness. Content as Window creates a transparency for people to peek inside and trust you. Content as Community honors the peer to peer content that answers questions and fuels interaction. Content as Support, of course, is further down the traditional funnel helping you get the most out of what you choose.

I wasn’t completely wrong in promoting Content as Currency at my market fruit stand, but I also wasn’t fully right.

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My theory had been that the best way for brands to think about content is as “ currency ” — an asset to trade with customers. I had thought this was absolutely brilliant because it made content more than something a brand pushes out like broadcast, but instead recognized a two-way street for it. Imagine the market as a bustling marketplace of ideas and experiences between brands and customers. Standing at your stand for Brand X, if you could simply be a magnet with something people want, the right customers will approach willing and ready. The online how-to video teaches. The ebook persuades. The infographic provides proof. Valuable content through the currency lens is what you can exchange with customers for data, consideration, preference or service —in bytes or bitcoin. In working with Altimeter on our new Key Elements in Building a Content Strategy report , one of the key findings that widened my perspective is that Content as Currency is actually only one of five archetypes that can help shape a company’s content vision and strategy. Talking to brands as diverse as Charles Schwab, General Motors, REI, The Economist and VMWare, we identified four other really solid archetypes: Content as Presence; Content As Window; Content as Community; and Content as Support. They’re each interesting in their own right with great examples of brands executing them even now. Content as Presence gets you out there in the mix, boosting or sustaining your awareness. Content as Window creates a transparency for people […]

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