In case you haven’t noticed, the internet has fundamentally changed the way companies communicate with their customers. It’s gone from a one-way, broadcast communication (“It’s our Memorial Day Sale!”) to a two-way conversation (“What do you need, and how can we help?”). In this new paradigm, companies have to be authentic, and they have to be helpful—and increasingly, marketing departments are finding that creating great content is the best way to accomplish both.
But as it turns out, this paradigm applies to more than just marketing. It affects the way enterprise companies communicate and build relationships with all of their stakeholders, including investors, the press, employees, and the talent they’re trying to recruit. The internet has introduced a new level of choice and transparency into every one of those relationships. As a result, the content movement has become about more than just marketing; it’s about an evolution in the way brands share information.
We’re already seeing this with our clientele at Contently.
While marketers led the charge in adopting our technology, the past 18 months have seen myriad other departments leverage our content solution. Coca-Cola spreads stories internally and externally about their employees’ inspiring charitable work. Raymond James built an entire site to educate their financial advisors and turn them into thought leaders. Genpact has used content to transform their company culture. “The moment we started having strong stories, the CEOs, the CFOs, the investors—they loved it,” CMO Gianni Giocamelli explained at our Contently Summit last fall.
In the big picture, though, far too few enterprises are fully leveraging content across their organization, and they’re missing out on a big opportunity. It’s time for that to change.
In turn, we’re focused on helping modern brands in three big ways:
1. Tell Better Stories
Great stories build relationships. They make us care, and they teach us lessons we’d never learn otherwise. The same can’t be said, however, about memos, press releases, and product-pushing advertisements dressed in editorial content. Modern enterprises need to focus on creating content that serves the needs of all of their audiences, not their own self-interests.
2. Personalized Experiences for Every Stakeholder
Everyone across the organization needs access to content in a way that’s meaningful and empowering to them. Over the past decade, a wave of content management systems have tried to solve this problem, but they’ve largely just been a repository for generic content. Everyone—marketing, sales, HR, PR, etc.—is handed the same solution, despite having vastly different needs. The next wave of enterprise content solutions needs to create a unique experience for each content stakeholder in terms of content access and collaboration, audience targeting, distribution, and metrics of success. If that happens, adoption will follow.
3. A Centralized Experience
Organizational silos are poisonous to a content program. While the experience of every stakeholder should be personalized, content, data, and brand guidelines should be centralized, ensuring that large enterprises can tell a cohesive brand story across departments, products, and regions.
Launching a blog is easy, but when it comes to the future of enterprise content, these are the hard problems to solve. Brands and content vendors are making progress, but there’s still a long way to go.