The content is king myth busted – here’s why it isn’t

by Kirsten Hodgson

I don’t dispute that creating content (that’s of value to your clients and prospects) is important.

But, alone, it’s NOT king and it’s not even queen. Here’s why:

If you want to position yourself as a thought leader and to generate work as a result of sharing your compelling content, then two other components are vital:

  1. Timing
  2. Distribution

Ideally you want to be the person who brings an issue to people’s attention, or who provides them with great, thought-provoking information about a topical (or upcoming) subject.

However,  I regularly interview clients of professional services firms who say:

“I received X’s newsletter/alert on the new [employment law changes]. It was really interesting but we had already engaged someone to help us with that. Had X called us to give us a heads up before the changes occurred, and then followed up with some brief information about the changes and what they might mean for us when the [new legislation] came out, they would have got our work.”

Another example: I recently saw a tweet from a large law firm about an interesting case. They reported it and talked a bit about the implications for others. It was interesting. Sounds good, right? 

The problem?

That same case had been doing the Twitter rounds 6 weeks prior to the law firm putting its tweet out. It was OLD NEWS. It had already been dissected to bits.

Clients and prospective clients were likely to have seen it elsewhere – like in the media or via the same social networks this firm was using to share its content. Sure, there may have been a few who missed it but the firm missed an opportunity to create really valuable content by being S L O W. 

I know things need to go through design and approval processes – that, in and of itself, in today’s world can be an issue.

If you want to position yourself for work you’ve got to either be quick to market OR you’ve got to put a unique angle on something.

To the firm’s credit, their article was well-written, it was just past its use-by-date.

I’d say a lot of professional services firms miss out on work because the content they share, while valuable, is often poorly timed OR it’s sent out via only one channel when a multitude of channels would be better. If you’ve done the work, make sure you share it with those who will benefit from it.

My recommendations?

  • Make sure you are the one to bring an important subject/trend/development to your clients’ attention and then keep them informed as and when necessary. Get around the approval process by putting out short updates, linking to relevant articles while they’re timely and letting them know when your analysis will be out.
  • Use a variety of channels to share your content with your target audience and to engage with them – both offline and online (face to face is always the best form of contact with key clients and targets followed by phone, and then email and online).
  • Leverage issues – pick an issue and make sure you’re all over it, or know enough to ignite discussion, inform clients or ask pertinent questions.
  • Ensure your online content is readily accessible on your website or blog and that you notify your clients of updates.
  • Direct people to your online content using social media, email etc. but only do so if it’s designed to help or be of interest to them. Never just send a link. Write a short intro with some key info or an overview of the piece. This makes it easier for people to make a call about whether it’s something they should read, watch or listen to.

When you’re thinking about what content you’re going to share, think about when and how you’re going to share it – it might make all the difference between winning work and missing out.

And that’s why creating good content alone is NOT king.

What do you think?

Image courtesy Digitalart @freedigitalphotos.net

Specialising in professional services and law firm marketing. I help firms to retain and grow existing clients and attract more of their ideal clients. My core services include social media for lead generation, voice of the client programmes and tender strategy and development. Outside of work I love to run. I’m a bit like Forest Gump in that I’m not that quick but can keep going for ages. I also enjoy coming up with new inventions. Unfortunately, most of them have already been invented! | * Professional services marketing consultant | * Legal marketing consultant | * Law firm marketing consultant