Brand websites become content websites

One side effect of my interactive journalism degree was the ability to create, design and code websites. In fact, without the ability to do web consulting on the side, I might not be able to afford my journalism job. But, even in my programming classes, we still dealt specifically with content-based websites – how to build an audience, not for a brand, but for a site that is constantly updated, whether it is blog posts, articles from a local newspaper or video content.

When I help small businesses promote their brand through websites, I always push offering a blog on their site. TruHarmony Yoga allows students to write blog posts about their yoga experiences, which is a great way for clients to be engaged with the brand. When TruHarmony did a Groupon deal, I had the owner shoot a brief video with her iPhone, so when Chicagoans went to her site for the first time, they could get a genuine inside look at what they were about to buy.

Today, I was thrilled to read this:

“Apparel and accessories brand Kate Spade has launched a new version of its flagship website that underscores just how important content has become to the brand." – Mashable by Lauren Indvik

What does this mean to me? My studies in how to manage a content website, rather than just a website, are now more valuable than ever – and will gain value. It’s not enough for consumers to see a shirt at the store and think it looks nice. It’s not enough to see a commercial and maybe remember the brand name. Consumers need constant reminders – it’s not enough to be aware of the brand.

We live in an age of instant gratification, and I think studies will show that consumers are more likely to buy if they came into contact with a brand in the past 24 hours.

Continuous content is necessary. And, the journalists among us can lead the way with training brands how to build a company message and send it through the various mediums, including video, text, audio and more.