by Kenneth Rudich
The trend of using quality content to attract and retain customers, employees, stakeholders and more has grown only stronger with the passage of time. As matter of fact, it’s become so materially important that it has inspired the motto “Content is King!”
In today’s communications-rich environment, this covers a broad range of content publishing activities:
- including Training Content, Promotional Content, Branding Content and Educational/Informational Content (e-learning);
- for Blogs, Social Media, Website Copy, eBooks, Whitepapers, Special Reports, Case Studies, Article Writing, Press Releases, Manuals, Email Copy, Scriptwriting, Videos, PowerPoint Presentations, PowerPoint-to-Video, Graphic Design, Podcasts and more.
This content typically supports the communications strategy at the tactical and operations levels of the enterprise, across the value chain as a whole. Thus, some audiences are internal, others external. Regardless of who may be at hand, good results rely on sustaining the quality. Without that, even the best products, services and ideas are liable to stumble and bumble along.
PAC Formula for Content Management
The PAC formula offers a disciplined approach for crafting quality content. The letters P-A-C stand for Purposeful, Agreeable and Consistent. Let’s take a closer look at each.
The development of quality content starts with serving a purpose that is interesting, meaningful and/or relevant to the target audience. In addition to asking who and what, it also strives to isolate when and where. The primary motive is to “give” the audience purposeful content, with the added incentive of making it timely and accessible. This collection of attributes will help persuade them to view it as valuable. For example, one commonly seen practice is to make free content available online, such as a downloadable Whitepaper, eBook, or streaming video.
A secondary motive is to cultivate the spinoff benefit a content provider gets from concentrating on the primary motive – namely, fostering the characteristics of a bonding experience. In this sense, you’re piggybacking the expectation of a future action, such as making a sale, by currying their favor beforehand. The underlying objective is to have this already established relationship make you the preference of first choice when consumers want or need what you offer.
This combination of motives can be applied across the entire value chain. For instance, it might take the form of internally distributed material to support the training and information needs of your non-customer target audiences (those that keep the enterprise running across the value chain). A good example is customer service. In addition to the content being purposeful, consider how important timeliness and accessibility are for keeping your representatives equipped with currently up-to-date information.
On the external side, quality content has become a powerful marketing and promotion tool. One common practice is to use it as a means for establishing yourself as a subject matter expert or authority in the industry you serve. Another is to give customers and prospects information or training they can immediately put to use; or to educate them about your solution for addressing one of their pain points.
In part 2, we’ll discuss the Agreeable aspect of the PAC Formula. Come back for Part 2, won’t you?