2018 Content strategy

Did you have a content strategy last year? Or is it one of those things that was always too expensive and did not support sales enough?

The truth is in 2018 you can’t afford not to have one, content is fast becoming the preferred choice for customers to engage with, and the evidence? Let’s take a look at Lloyds Bank Business and Barclays ‘Digital Eagles’, starting with Lloyds Bank Business who instead of overtly selling products helps its customers. Their TV adverts “Praise you” and are “By Your side” using a very product free narrative. Their online goes even further with helpful practical advice, they are building value in their customer relationships, adding warmth to the brand which will lead to loyalty and new customers. It’s similar to Barclays ‘Digital Eagles’, a service for all customers that solves problems by; setting up email accounts using Skype. The common theme is that the always content adds value to the end customer, with this offering customers stay engaged.

This touches a wider subject of data ownership, brands want your data but customers don’t want to be directly sold to, the mid ground is content with added value, if Barclays helped you set up your email and Skype the odd email from them is fine, and an acceptable ‘fee’.

Companies in any sector that ‘sell’ and only sell can easily be shut out by the consumer by opting out, blockers are on the increase. A recent article, featuring Tim Berners-Lee (somebody we should all listen to), talks about de-coupling of data. This allows the customer to own their data, yes GDPR I here you cry, not quite. Imagine storing all of your data in a personal cloud and applying your own AI module to it...

Companies need to add value to customers interactions, offering a service or a free piece of information in order to build their confidence and trust that their data will be used in a valued relationship. The article talks about data ownership, how Google and Facebook are actually manipulating views with persuasive messaging (Advertising) rather than using content.

Content is King, a cry from over 15 years ago and only recently getting traction. I’m not talking about click bait, this is about content that adds value to the user. Some emails that I subscribe to I look forward to reading as I know I will get great content from them, some I graze quickly as they contain a discount code and some never get opened until I get around to unsubscribing.

How do you find the value your customer wants and not what you want to sell them? Holiday Cottages tell customers about the things to do in the area and why, then sell the cottage, Fin Tech tell customers about the impact of the market rise in hacking, then customers learn about their security product.

What would you be more likely to opt out of; a relationship with a company who continually market a broad range of products offers to you in the hope something will stick, or a company that gives you all the information you need to make informed decisions and a value based relationship that makes your life easier, better and more productive?

Gavin W H Anderson | Head of Strategy


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