It’s a Content Marketing article about Content Marketing
by Leona Heslehurst, on 28 October, 2014
Well here I am. Two weeks past deadline for my article and my team meeting in two hours. I realise I am absolutely no different than my clients.
What is it about a content marketing program that makes it so difficult to stick to? Even I, as an advocate for editorial, push it to the bottom of my priority list.
As I tell my clients, the ideas and experience is all there. I just need to get it out of my head and onto paper.
As it turns out, it’s not that simple.
As a student of journalism and public relations, this stuff really interests me and having worked with many of my clients for years it is incredibly rewarding to see their own brand and opinion start to come through their marketing messaging.
Marketers have been promoting the value of Content Marketing for years but it is just now I am really starting to see some traction with my own clients.
However, the challenges to achieving momentum in a content marketing program can pose significant road blocks. I’ve worked through each of these, and as it turns out, experience them myself.
What are the typical challenges to delivering content marketing?
- Reliance on one key contributor within the business.
- Time poor.
- Writing may not come naturally.
- Don’t believe ideas are good ones.
- Doubt anyone will read it anyway.
It’s a killer list isn’t it.
After confronting these pain points in almost all of my client campaigns I realised something else was needed to help my clients take their good intentions to actual execution and success.
Further driving the need to get it right, I think we’ve reached a tipping point in marketing of the ICT sector. Being where my work is primarily focused, I’ve observed this market space is becoming more competitive than ever and I find vendor messaging still dominates, particularly IBM, VMware, Amazon and the rest of the big guns. Not surprising really, considering their size and resources.
However, in a market-space where my IT Reseller and Integrator clients have transitioned to lead with solution selling and service capabilities, they want to be heard and need to stand-out to compete in a crowded managed services and cloud market.
They need to tell their story.
What is important to communicate is how one business is different to its competitors. As their marketer, I think every one of them is special in their own way and have a unique culture, set of skills and strengths to attract business and retain existing clients.
Every glimpse we can obtain of their insight and experience is an asset. I suspect this is also where some of the problems lie. To the Reseller, their opinion on a specific technology, how it works best, what to avoid and so on seems insignificant, maybe even common-sense. It’s not what they think is interesting to a wider audience. (Yes, I mean YOU).
This is wrong though. It is these snippets that are content gold. We’ve got to remember the audience is different to ourselves. They aren’t the experts and rely on us to share knowledge. The audience does not want an exact repeat of the same information being broadcast by those big guns.
Maybe it didn’t matter so much when ICT was more transactional and price-led; the bigger picture now being that hardware plays a core role but has business outcomes, software and applications wrapped around it. People don’t give their business to just anyone and don’t make decisions based on price (so much), it’s about relationships and trust in a brand.
The trick is starting small. We aren’t chasing front page position in a national publication after all. A successful Content Marketing program starts with the basics of knowing your audience.
Most importantly, it takes teamwork to pull this off. I have programs in market now where we have successfully established the basics of a Content Marketing routine and stuck to it. I believe we have the mechanism right and it brings with it great potential for boosting the marketing mix and audience engagement.
I’d love to speak with you about your own Content Marketing program and see where RAW could help in overcoming some of those challenges.