When you've created a Website, you're instantly in the publishing business. This is dawning on tech marketers, and they're creating more information-valuable content to refresh their sites constantly for use in a range of marketing channels. The truth is that no new information equals no new or returning visitors. But there's an even more important reason for continually creating new online content.
Because change is so rapid in the electronics sector, people are especially hungry for helpful professional information. Companies providing valued content -- not just sales information -- gain customer interest, credibility, and loyalty. General Mills started publishing the Betty Crocker Cook Book for this very reason in the 1930s, and it wound up owning the home baking products business in the US. However, being a giant in your industry isn't necessary.
One company I helped, for example, was the PC chipset maker Faraday Electronics Corp., which published The Designers' Guide to the PC Bus after IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) threw it out as an open standard without a spec. Faraday reaped thousands of inquiries for guides from engineers needing this information, and many of them were customer prospects for its PC system ICs. Sales zoomed, and Faraday was profitably acquired by Western Digital Corp. (WD) (NYSE: WDC). Documenting an open design standard provided highly valued information to the market and propelled brand success.
Today, the Web allows tech companies of any size to demonstrate their expertise easily and help customers and prospects solve design engineering or other problems through content creation. This is now being referred to as Content Marketing, though, in fact, it has been a public relations strategy since modern PR was invented in the 1920s. A look back at the technical trade publications of the last 30-plus years shows the industry has long been interested in all kinds of information on the electronics industry. Now your brand can become a similar resource.
Content-based marketing is available to tech companies of any size. A startup can become known by providing design Webinars or writing an article helping engineers solve specific product development problems. Providing information not available from competitors drives differentiation that effectively separates one tech brand from others, which is the basis of any successful marketing campaign.
Other benefits of content marketing are:
- Exposes your company's values to business prospects.
- Demonstrates expertise where it is valued.
- Attracts specific kinds of customers.
- Changes how people think -- usually for the better!
- Preempts competitive marketing efforts.
- Attracts attention beyond simple product or company advertising claims.
In the concluding part of this series, I will discuss strategies for executing the best content marketing program, and I will suggest steps information technology companies can use to reach potential customers better.