Dull as dishwater

With 'content marketing' being the phrase of the moment the digital marketing industry is focusing all of it's efforts on creating 'great content' - we tried our hand at this ourselves with our #KierHeroes campaign. The majority of big brands are using this as something to aspire to and the main reason for this may actually be that it's the type of content that wins awards and generates lots of social media comments and likes.

However, the big question is does it actually sell? With all this emphasis on the next exciting campaign idea one of the best ways to differentiate and exploit may actually be what is seen as 'boring content'. The reason no-one discusses this is because brands are ashamed of content which doesn't seem to be exciting and innovative but in many cases it is a neglected resource. At Kier, many of our fellow FTSE 250 companies may well be businesses many people have never heard of but yet they all turn over millions of pounds a year. They certainly aren't known for great content but they clearly have content strategies in place. Below are a few examples of some work which we've done on our 'boring content':

Company values:

At Kier, there has been a big internal push on our values of Enthusiastic, Collaborative and Forward Thinking. There are reward schemes for colleagues who demonstrate these attributes and they are displayed on the walls of all of our offices and sites for us to abide by when carrying out business.

We also have a section outlining these values on our intranet, induction portal and website. The question is does your company have values so important and clear that you'd carve them into the office walls?!

Company locations:

Adding a list of locations to a website is typically one of those steps that just gets done at the end, but if your business has many locations and activities it can be really important that prospective customers know what you do and where.

This is why we continue to maintain and develop our locations map to help show what our 80+ offices do across the UK and internationally. It’s a quick way for our prospects to learn a lot about us.

Company achievements:

The work of some businesses are technical by their very nature and there really is no other way to sell them. By presenting a clear road map if what has been achieved to date and the plans for the future you can demonstrate how what you have learned to date will influence your future strategy.

At Kier, we have done this for our continued Scape Minor Works Framework in the form of some concise statistics. No amount of YouTube videos or Pinterest pages will convince you more than this simple infographic.

Customer care:

Ensuring your customers and stakeholders get a good service is more essential for any brand than before. We have been doing a lot of work to streamline our customer care form to ensure that enquires are directly piped to the relevant departments.

Not only does this ensure much faster response times but it also reduces the amount of manual intervention required in forwarding comments to the correct business contact or in reporting.

Annual report:

This is a requirement for all businesses of our size and potentially could just be produced as part of a box ticking exercise. Shareholders rarely see engaging content that is designed specifically for them.

Given that they either fund the business (shareholders) or are critical to its running (employees) they need content as well. If anything the content created for them should have at least the same effort as that for customers. This is why we have made the effort to present the highlights in a more easily digestible format and not rely on the reader to have to download a weighty PDF document!

Conclusion

It's clear that none of this content is going to win any awards or be heavily shared on social media. It exists to both convert and educate and is important in building a brand story that is not just about the exciting and photogenic parts. Without it there's a real danger that we are presenting an impression of no real substance and that isn't there to aid conversions - Ultimately that's what we ask from every piece of content we create whether it's boring or great.
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