Content marketing is really about exploiting the knowledge base in a company to create a real point of distinction and commercial advantage, something that B2B focused businesses have been good at for a long time. The key difference now is that the means of conveying that information to customers, prospects and influencers can be much more direct and open.
Every company is a publisher now, able to leverage know-how to attract attention, gain recognition, credibility and turn the curious into solid customers. While trade media PR and advertising are still important, internet video, blogs, twitter feeds, social media pages, mobile apps and more provide a diverse range of tools to engage directly. The common strand that links them all is content.
You may ask, ‘Where do I find all this content?’. The answer is simple – ask your people! An example from the past may help and perhaps will show the content should not be confused with the technology of delivery – that depends with whom you want to communicate.
I recall my very first job in a HVAC design office where the head of the technical department had an old but treasured copy of Wood’s Fan Guide. This wasn’t just about fans but had other useful common sense information that gave reference standards for ventilation in different types of workplace – formulae for pressure loss in ductwork, for transportation velocities of solids – lots of sound sensible stuff. Often not the tools that would be the basis of a scheme design, however you could use them to check your calculations and see if they were of the right order.
How many firms have this kind of information, but it isn’t collated and formally documented? Sometimes it may even be stuck in someone’s head. Yet this is a valuable source of competitive advantage for the company. Intrinsic knowledge is another term for this hidden asset. Here is a simple paper that discusses how this can be exploited: http://www.interspire.com/content/2007/03/06/turning-intrinsic-knowledge-into-your-own-information-store/
We have just added a new content marketing checklist to the Free PR Advice site on this highly topical subject. It is a big topic so we will add an additional one soon that takes the discussion further.
Please have a look at the checklist and call us to talk about putting together a content marketing programme for your business.