The world outside *must* feel the need to educate me as there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t receive an email or LinkedIn invite to a course dedicated to content marketing.
I try not to be irritated, but when an email or invite comes along that describes content marketing as “the newest trend” or new in any way, I become annoyed. I want to be clear on this one:
There is nothing new about the concept of content marketing. There is also nothing new about today’s preferred choice of delivery for content marketing (the web)……but combine that with the power of social media and you’ve got enough to inspire a series of endless workshops that will take a reassuringly expensive bite out of your marketing budget.
As you’ll see later on in the series, there is space in the world of content marketing for a course or two, but I still it’s worthwhile starting off by reading this series of blogs and perhaps investing in a few books. My next few posts are going to focus the spotlight on content marketing and as usual, I am going to write from a B2B tech marketing POV.
What is Content Marketing?
I work in a job I describe as “highly focused on content marketing” and I still found Wikipedia’s entry on content marketing a real “boost” to read. In fact it got me excited and made me start a list of some new content I’d like to get out this week!
I’d said before that content marketing is not new – in fact it’s been around for ages. Early examples in my life were the free Betty Crocker cookbooks my mum used to get, or the roadmaps my dad would get when he renewed our car insurance. Both were helpful content nicely associated with brands.
B2B Content Marketing
Perhaps B2B content marketing was just a little slower to take centre stage, and perhaps that’s why people are treating it as a new phenomenon. However I still don’t think it’s a new concept in the B2B world….several companies ago, when the MiFid directive came out I produced “The MiFiD checklist” to offer to our customers. Our software was not 100 per cent geared towards compliance, but there was some relation and, more importantly, it was an opportunity to offer some content marketing that acted as a helpful resource and showed that we were on top of current industry regulation and thinking.
On that note, these points form two important questions that may be of help when beginning to form a content marketing strategy or when revamping an old one.
- Firstly, what sort of content can you offer your customers as a resource? Something helpful that they will hold on to, hopefully refer to again and again over time, and ultimately associate with your brand?
- Secondly, industries experience “issues” the same way people do! In technology these often have to do with regulation, whether it be regarding new privacy rules or technological standards. Are you on top of new regulations? You should be. If you aren’t, it’s time to read up and write a piece about it. If you’re the expert already, you should be updating your customers regularly on these issues. This is effective content marketing at its best.
In my next post, I am going to talk about the delivery of content marketing and social media.