Can Your Business Use Content to Compete?

Apr 5, 2017

Can Your Business Use Content to Compete?

by Apr 5, 2017

During the week of February 6, 2017, Huffington Post – one of the most successful online-first publications in our still short history of the Internet – posted content on 10 media platforms over seven days. In total, HuffPo added 1,665 posts to the Internet over that week timeframe.

Does that seem like a lot, or a little?

It should seem like a LOT.

And it is, when you compare it to a “normal” business.

But, while you’re contemplating this question, consider that HuffPo tends to be near the top of the search results when you search for something topical.

The work put into generating all of that content pays off in that HuffPo’s articles draw eyeballs, and eyeballs draw advertisers.

Here’s the breakdown of which platforms HuffPo posts on and the total number of posts for a week:

  • Twitter = 948 posts
  • Facebook = 321 posts
  • YouTube = 6 new videos
  • Apple News = 695 articles published
  • LinkedIn = 13 posts
  • Pinterest = 10 new pins
  • Tumblr = 7 new posts
  • Instagram = 53 posts
  • Instagram Live (similar to Snapchat) = 22 stories
  • LINE (chat app) = 19 new posts

HuffPo wasn’t on Snapchat back in February when this study was conducted and later published by Neiman Lab.

HuffPo’s an example of how just one publisher approaches the “constant content” world of the web, attracting eyeballs that help to build its business.

In business, we have a tendency to imagine that we must replicate this approach in our own business.

Let’s fight that tendency with facts.

Huffington Post employees 200 people. The team has people focused on traditional business stuff (HR, IT, etc.) while the majority of the team is structured like a publisher would be. The team also includes a combination of people that work on the channels the content is distributed through and are outright experts in things like Tumblr, Instagram, and Facebook.

How does your team compare?

Does your business have a marketing department? How about a communications department? How many people are in those departments? What expectations are levied against those departments for content output and business performance?

Now to the question posed in the title – can your business compete on content?

With Huffington Post, probably not. But with your competition, yes.

Your business can follow the model of an established and successful publisher. In fact, it should. No better method exists in the world for building expertise than researching stuff and writing about it. If you do that enough, to enough people in all of the right places – and the content is actually useful and well-crafted – expertise will start to follow you.

Just consider how to adapt HuffPo – or any other established content model – smartly for your business.

For example, it’s likely the audience for your business is not on Tumblr. (That’s because almost no business audience is!) While that audience is carefully crafted and nurtured by HuffPo with an investment of content and staff time, it doesn’t make sense for your business.

Pick the channels that work best for your audience. If you need help picking the right channels, email me and I’ll help you.

After you’ve picked the channels that make sense for your business, consider the right amount of content. Get some help from what you studied in the HuffPo model.

Here are some interesting nuggets I picked studying this:

  • HuffPo tweets three times to everyone’s one Facebook post – that’s about right
  • You don’t have to kill yourself, your business, or productivity to add video – but you should have some, and it should be good
  • For some communications channels, quality trumps quantity (e.g. Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube)

When it comes to building the authority of your business and becoming a company that successfully leverages the marketing opportunity of the Internet, there are many good models to follow.

Pick one. Research it. Adapt it. Execute it. Measure it.

Which one are you going to follow?


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