In the middle of a meeting with a marketing executive of a large company, I was asked why they needed a content strategy for the website when there was already content up there.

At first, I tried to explain that every business has a business strategy that helps steer the business and make a profit.

“Yeah, yeah, so what’s a content strategy going to DO?”

I next tried to explain that his company had a marketing strategy that targeted certain people, with certain messages and that this activity…

“I know that! I want to know why I should pay you for something I already have!”

Aha! He thought his website already had a strategy – that it had a point of difference. And in that moment I realised I wasn’t getting to my own point quick enough.

Without a word, I opened my laptop and loaded 3 tabs in my web browser: this company’s home page, a banking home page and an energy company home page. I read out loud the opening statement on each site, but left out the names. Here’s what each one said:

“Providing best-in-class solutions for individuals, businesses and partners.”

I’m not kidding.

As I read the third ‘example’ to my client, his frowning expression turned questioning, and then thoughtful. In my example he realised:

You need a strategy for your web content because without one, you won’t know why you are writing content in the first place. Without knowing why, you don’t know what to write about. Without knowing what to write about, you have no point to make. With no point to make, you have nothing to say that sets you apart either from your competition or from other non-competing companies.

I also gained something valuable from that meeting – sometimes examples speak louder than words.

By Steve Kellas

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