Content’s secret weapon – shelf-life

Question: For how long can you count content as an asset?

Answer: Forever.

OK, forever is a mighty long time, as someone once said, but you get the point.

Recently I wrote about sweating your archive but it’s worth stepping back a moment to consider content’s wider benefits.

Take content aimed at educating customers or sharing expertise or otherwise enhancing a brand – in fact the type often referred to by advocates of content marketing. It is increasingly proving its worth when compared to traditional advertising campaigns.

As we’ve said before on this blog, creating quality content isn’t easy, meaning it isn’t cheap. It is also something that is most effective when it is built up over time. Which means it also isn’t a quick win.

But as the commercial movement towards content marketing increasingly shows, it’s the clever play.

You know the history bit. Brands have for decades invested a lot of money in creative copy, jingles, videos and more. They then bring this to audiences – mass market consumers or qualified B2B niches – via media that ‘own’ the audiences. They did this through something we know as the campaign, lasting weeks or months but rarely longer than that.

But the truth is that:

(a) Now there are more creative options than ever.

(b) For distribution brands can bypass traditional media, including online, through a combination of social media, search engine marketing and their own websites.

(c) This is all to say nothing about how jaded many would-be customers are to a sell, sell, sell approach.

So thinking in terms of finite campaigns is far from the only option.

And what do brands do with their old campaign assets? Best case is they’re featured on a Saturday night Channel 4 ‘100 Best Ads’ show.

Content can be available and searchable forever. When done well, it helps and even entertains an audience time and time again.

That’s a good thing for those that consume it. Is it also a good thing for your business?

Like this? You might also find this recent guest post useful: Branded content lessons from B2C and B2B.

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