I JUST had a conversation with a print marketing writer about her job and responsibilities, and of course, how she’s faring up with writing for content online. She gave me the “what’s the difference” speech, so of course, I had to bust out my teacher hat and give her the scoop. Of course there are differences in print and online content, and while there are many that can be considered, there are a few that I believe are very important to consider:
Online content development is primarily different with its print counterpart in that online content’s primary purpose is to expose that company/brand/product/service online (and in all aspect of online presence). Simple, right? Sort of, as I found out that a print marketer’s vision and primary thinking of content doesn’t necessarily match well with online development. With online content’s purpose to expose brands online, it is also different in its methods and mediums to expose brands online. These differences are in ways online content is created for search engine marketing, social medias, blogs, etc, in a similar fashion as print marketing collateral is to expose brands in the forms of flyers, brochures, coupons, et. al. In addition, online marketing purposes involve a lot more than just creating content online for the sake of online content. It involves…
Traffic Generation and other strategic marketing goals
Traffic generation is one major aspect in creating online content. You want your site to be heavy in traffic and quality in substance of that traffic. But I also say “other strategic marketing goals” primarily because you don’t want to JUST have traffic as a goal. Depending on the company’s services, products, and strategies, conversions should always play a role in online business strategies, which may or may not include generating email newsletter subscriptions, blog subscriptions, product purchases, product downloads, etc. etc. What’s also of importance is that you want your customers to come back repeatedly as well as generating new users to come to your site and converting. Which means…
I think this is the most hardcore evidence of online content development. With online content, one has the ability to track the positive and negative aspects of content in relation to strategic business goals and have the ability to augment and modify to boost negative site performance and continue to increase positive site performance. Print content does not necessarily have a whole lot of choices to provide metric analysis on its performance, and it does not have the ability to change and modify on a more “real-time” results than its online counterparts. Recreation of print content to reflect user needs is much more of a hassle, because it has to go through a long process before the content reaches the audience, and is usually created months in advance before it is given to production. This means that there is a lot of forecasting on print content development to attract its audience. Online content development does not have to be created months in advance, and can be augmented on the fly and on a more consistent/constant basis (which results into better search engine results given the quality, integrity and relevancy of the content created).
One primary goal that print marketing collaterals should have, if not already, is to drive users/traffic online and let online elements (including content) keep the user, generate a conversion, and establish repeat users through those elements.
In a perfect world, that is a great scenario; sadly, it is not always the case.