By Rex Hammock

At Hammock, we use the terms “chronological” and “contextual” to describe two types of information a company should provide as part of an effective content strategy. Here’s how we define those terms:

  1. Chronological Content: Like traditional models of journalism, chronological content is determined by its timeliness. In other words, it’s when an editor or marketer clicks the “submit” or “publish” button. Blogging, tweeting and posting are all examples of content that flows past us, sometimes like a raging river, each day.
  2. Contextual Content: Highly organized into standard taxonomies, contextual content is determined to be timely by the user who needs answers and how-tos—right now. This customer purchased your product to solve a particular problem and will be searching your website for information on how to use it. If they can’t find that information, you’ll end up with a very frustrated customer, who likely will head off to your competitor’s site to see if they can find it there.

We work with clients who need either one of these two kinds of content. However, we are most effective when working with clients who have recognized their need for both types.

Does your company pass the content test?

Has your company released a corporate announcement through a press release service but failed to publish it on your company blog? If yes, you’ve flunked the chronological content test.

Can a customer find a corporate phone number within three clicks of arriving on your website’s home page? If no, you’ve haven’t passed the context test.

Bottomline | Successful content marketers don’t limit their use of content to posting things on a blog or YouTube account. They understand that thoughtful and helpful content should also be placed across your website or where your customers are looking for the answers and information you provide. Helpful and easy-to-find content works, always.

Image: Getty Images

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