In the past two weeks, I’ve been having more and more
conversations with clients about
actual
(not theoretical) content marketing initiatives. These range from producing
their own blogs to their own coverage of trade shows or just summaries of
conversations with interesting customers. The aim: To educate, engage and
motivate prospects to consider and buy their products.

It’s good seeing vendors realize they need to be their own
publishers. But many vendors don’t understand is that creating quality content
(meaning useful information outweighs sales blather) requires taking on a lot
of the work, and the costs, of the trade pubs they used to subsidize through
their ad dollars. Unlike a trade pub, online content marketing doesn’t require
a printing press, postage and expensive full-time people soaking up office
space. But it does require:

              Ideas – new, interesting, relevant
ideas, observations or comments.

             The judgment to see an idea, or a pattern
of events, and to know it is newsworthy.

             The ability to explain these ideas clearly and concisely (which ranges from writing to editing, formatting and design) and finally

            The experience to avoid common mistakes like assuming the reader understands common jargon, or "burying the lead" in paragraphs of introductory throat-clearing.

I’m not saying a vendor has to hire full-timers, or even an
outsider like me, to fill all these needs. With the right mix of talent
in-house, they can produce quality content on their own – some companies
already
are.
But vendors need to realize there are real costs to producing content
that actually educates, engages and motivates customers. They can pay those
costs in internal staff time or outside consulting fees (usually a combination
of both) but with content, as with everything, you get what you pay for.

Author: Bob Scheier
Visit Bob's Website - Email Bob
I'm a veteran IT trade press reporter and editor with a passion for clear writing that explains how technology can help businesses. To learn more about my content marketing services, email bob@scheierassociates.com or call me at 508 725-7258.

Filed under: Content Marketing

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