From the 100s of local customers we work with every week, we often get privileged insight into challenges that Jacksonville businesses face in attracting new customers and retaining existing ones. We see many business owners struggling to quantify the value of the various pieces of their current marketing strategy, and then asking good questions about what new tactics are worthy of investment. Social media, for example, usually comes up in consultations for “what I should be doing, or doing better”, and is why we have dedicated so much space in this blog to that subject. We find these questions are largely about either what channels are best, or what sort of content is most effective. In fact, most tactical decisions regarding marketing revolve around the interplay between content and context. You have probably heard it said that “content is king”. We believe that to be absolutely true. And, not to toot our own horn here, but … Times-Union Media is the “king of content” for the First Coast; we produce more content about Jacksonville and the surrounding area than any other media company, period. So when we consult with local businesses about their content strategies, we do so from a position of expertise.
Our flagship web property, Jacksonville.com, has 1st page position on hundreds of searches for stuff about Jacksonville. We understand what kinds of content local folks find of value, and thus what will increase positioning and status on search engines. This is knowledge and expertise that we put to work for our valuable customers all the time. Whether it is regarding their social media strategy, their website and SEO plan, paid search and data-driven display advertising, public relations, events … you name it; we have a unique vantage point on almost every piece of the marketing puzzle for local Jacksonville businesses.
But there is another important facet of the strategic marketing discussion. If content is king, then context is jurisdiction. “Jurisdiction” from the latin jurisdictio; literally “the right to speak”. Context is the framework in which the content is most relevant and will have the desired effect. Below you will find some epically bad examples of content in the wrong contexts. It is easy to see with these failures that content presented out of context can have the opposite effect than desired. Certainly most context errors are not quite so egregious, but even small mistakes can result in huge wastes of valuable marketing dollars. Too, compounding the waste of resources is the fact that many times, marketers make the wrong conclusions on the nature of the mistakes. They will blame it on the channel. The particular social media channel used, or the ad format – print, outdoor, email, etc. – will bear the blame. We will hear something like “we tried [fill in the blank tactic], and it just doesn’t work.” But then examining the content that was presented will often reveal that the content was not a good fit for the context. Typically what happened was that the content from some other channel was simply recycled. Print ads were “made into” online banner ads; price and product search content was used exclusively as facebook posts; TV spots were edited (badly) to run as pre-roll online. This practice ignores the subtleties of context and often leads to good content falling flat. It’s like the chef serving the pièce de résistance to go; it just will not have the desired effect.
We see local businesses making errors in context all the time, but we are committed to helping our partners avoid these mistakes and in doing so, get better returns on marketing investments. And by the way, for some more horn tooting, we have more than a few years of experience here as well. Namely about 150 years. Not only do we know a few things about putting the right content in print contexts, but we have 18 years’ experience in putting the right content in digital contexts as well. In 1996, we launched one of the first local ISPs for Jacksonville, and then the following year, we launched Jacksonville.com, the leading local news and information website now for almost two decades. That’s two years before there was a “google”.
So, all horn tooting aside, we can help your business get it right, the first time.
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