Why great content alone is NOT king

There have been some great blogs lately about the importance of creating and sharing good content. Late last year Great Jakes even predicted that 2011 will be the year that content marketing becomes king. And I think they’re right – particularly their prediction that websites will become publishing platforms.

However, I believe compelling content alone is NOT king.  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 your target audience’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 occured, 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.”

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 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.
  • 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 think about when the best time to do this might be. If you are posting on Facebook then most people tend to be online during the evenings and weekends. If you’re using LinkedIn then during working hours is the best time to post.

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

What do you think?

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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