If you’ve been following the changes taking place in B2B (business-to-business) marketing, then you’ve been reading and hearing all about how online content is king.
All this hub-bub should have you very concerned about who’s handling your content marketing efforts such as writing content for your website (which now needs constant refreshing to maintain its popularity/relevance with the search engines). Worse still… who’s writing your social media content? After all, it’s the stuff that represents your company across all the popular engagement platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube. You’re relying plenty on your branding to keep your audience engaged, and you can’t have just any-old stay-at-home blogger posting your material. What do they know about how you do business? What do they know about your real audience or how your company voice sounds to your long-time customers? You may be asking yourself… Why is this even important?
I’m sure you’ve heard things like “the phone book is dead,” and that the “younger generations entering businesses don’t prefer to network face-to-face anymore.” Or… “Big competitors are coming across state lines using online marketing to win all the best business.” While some of this is true, more and more customers and prospects are finding their resources online by searching Google, Bing, YouTube, etc. They are evaluating and comparing your expertise, products/services and capabilities based upon what they learn about you online. The content that represents your company online is important to search engines who determine who you are, what you do, and how your company should be categorized in their systems. Give the responsibility of generating your digital content to someone who doesn’t know you or your industry, and your asking for trouble in the form of lost visibility, lost opportunities and flagrant brand misrepresentation. After all… the only online message you can control, is the one you’re putting out there.
So, who should you rely on to handle this new and all-important marketing chore?
You could let your staff do it. But, before you do, make sure they like to write content, post blogs, update website material, and manage online conversations. If they are adverse to these tasks, then they’re probably not a good choice for this work even though they are employed by your company full-time. Not everyone likes to write, and very few like to write a lot. Think back to when you were last in school… did you get super excited when the teacher assigned a 50 page report on some random topic? How about having 1 page reports due in every class at the same time while still having to study for tests and completing regular homework and assignments? This is kind of what it’s like to manage online content while still doing all your other work. Unless employees love to write and generate topics to write about, this ball will get dropped and your online marketing efforts will fail.
What about the designer you hired to throw together your website? How knowledgeable are they about topics and issues of your kind of business? I know many graphic designers, and very few are good writers (actually I don’t know any who are… no offense to my creative friends who are really great at other things). You may not know it, but “missing content” is the #1 reason websites fail to launch, and “bad content” is the #2 reason sites fail to convert visitors to prospects and clients. However, the job of generating on-going content for a business is best left to professionals who learn to speak your language, use your tone, and engage with your business personality.
Bottomline to all of this is, it’s become very important to choose your online content developer/writer/publisher very carefully. Your digital content now determines how successful your online marketing efforts are, and now that the reign of digital media has changed the the world of B2B and B2C marketing forever, it’s more important than ever to find experienced marketers to manage your company’s online presence… everywhere.