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Idea: Provide the Content Customers Need Right Now


At Hammock, we’ve spent several years researching and writing about the role time and context play in the effectiveness of content that organizations create for their customers.

When it comes to building customer relationships, most content created by companies comes in two forms: We call them “flow content” and “know content.”

Flow content refers to the types of news and information that streams past us continuously. It keeps us aware of what’s currently happening that might affect the markets or audiences we serve.

Know content is the type of contextual information that we may not need now, but that we will need at a certain moment or in a specific situation. This type of content may be a video on how to change a printer cartridge, or a white paper that explains the industry impact of a new shift in public policy.

As organizations seek to become more content-marketing-savvy, they typically want to focus their efforts on the type of content that flows. Perhaps that’s because we all understand the importance of breaking news and up-to-the-minute updates on what’s happening now.

However, think about the content your customer uses throughout the day. A good place to start is by observing how you use the internet with your computer or mobile device.

Sure, you check in with the news important to you, but chances are, you’ll spend an equal amount of time looking up information about topics that lead you to stories written months, even years, ago. More often than not, your search will lead you to a page on Wikipedia, the definitive know content media platform.

While it’s important for companies to serve their customers’ need for flow content, those same customers’ need for know content may be more critical, and less served, by you and your competitors.

Producing and providing know content isn’t easy. But content produced well can make you a favorite with customers and — as Wikipedia has shown — with Google as well.

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