Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher
Content marketing requires a total re-imagining of what “marketing” really means. With content marketing, brands are becoming publishers. But too many brands are still thinking like “brands”—with the old mindset of crafting sales pitches and assuming the audience will pay attention to whatever is put out there. Instead, content marketing requires marketers to change their mindsets: They need to start thinking like publishers.
What does this mean? Instead of thinking like a marketer and asking, “How can I tell the world about my company and get them to buy what I’m selling,” start thinking like a publisher: “Who is my audience, what do they want to know about, and how can I help them achieve their goals?”
Here are some specific ideas on how to “think like a publisher” for better content marketing:
1. What Does Your Audience Need?
Think about your favorite magazine: It has a unique mission, editorial “voice” and perspective, and it focuses on certain types of stories. Each magazine has its own unique personality and style.
With content marketing, you’re effectively going into the “magazine” business: You are trying to serve the needs of your audience, and you need to decide which audience you want to serve and how to best create content that meets their needs.
Ask yourself: What problems can you help your audience solve?
For example, if you sell software that can improve a company’s productivity, don’t write blog posts about your software—instead, write posts on “productivity tips,” conduct interviews with productivity experts, or talk about broader challenges facing your clients’ industries. What issues are holding your clients back? What challenges are your clients seeking to overcome? All of these story ideas can generate great content ideas for your company, but not all of them might be directly related to “talking about what you sell.”
Gregg Schwartz is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Strategic Sales & Marketing, an industry-founding lead generation firm based in Connecticut. His company helps technology companies and various startups and small-to-mid-size businesses in the B2B sales category generate sales leads and improve their sales processes.