Tag Archives: Content Marketing

10 Success Factors for Content Marketing in the Knowledge-Based Economy

Network Terms

A necessary precondition for a knowledge-based economy is the existence of a market willing to purchase the knowledge being offered. Literally, nearly all activity in the knowledge-based economy can be thought of as knowledge-process outsourcing (KPO). Why? Because the market for knowledge only works if the cost or effort of developing the knowledge exceeds the cost of outsourcing. In this respect, knowledge-based economic activities provide value-added by allowing companies to off-book the fixed and variable costs associated with developing the knowledge-based services in-house.

One of the keys to becoming successful in the knowledge-based economy is to develop a reputation as a valued content or solution provider worthy of consideration when a perceived need arises for your services. In my opinion, the best strategy for accomplishing this is content marketing.

Content Marketing Defined

A good definition of content marketing is offered by Cleveland-based Junta42:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

10 Success Factors

Much like branding, building a reputation for being a value-added service provider through content marketing takes considerable time and effort. The list of success factors offered below is not exhaustive but rather merely provides a starting point for establishing your content marketing strategy.

1. Demonstrate expertise in one or more content domains (don’t be unidimensional)

2. Be prepared to dedicate the requisite time and effort to build credibility, readership and your network

3. Start with the premise that your content must provide value/utility to your target audience

4. Write for your target audience: quality of content is in the eye of the beholder

5. Understand that content providers are selected based on perceptions of expertise, qualifications, success, trust and personality. Demonstrate yours without alienating your audience.

6. Offering free services, software applications, games, etc. is a good hook as long as they’re used to build your network and/or lead list

7. Use your blog as the foundation for your other social media marketing activities

8. Develop and distribute white papers – research that is timely, informative and possesses utility but ask those downloading your research to provide basic contact information or for opt-in permission

9. Soft-sell knowledge/education/information with the long-term goal of developing business relationships

10. Foster top-of-mind awareness through multiple touch points (personalized e-mails, e-mail newsletters, social media, etc.) with the goal of becoming the go-to source for the service you’re providing

That you possess unique skills, content or expertise is assumed, as is your ability to effectively communicate and demonstrate your expertise via copy-writing, video or both. If this isn’t the case, then content marketing isn’t for you.

Keep in mind that content marketing is an inbound marketing technique. Providing free content that demonstrates your knowledge, skills and abilities serves as a magnet to build your network and attract business. Active management of the content marketing process is required.

The knowledge-based economy provides micro-enterprises with the ability to compete head-to-head with large corporations and succeed. Develop your network via content marketing and chart your own destiny.

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Tipping Point? More Like Ignition Point! The Rapid Ascension to the Knowledge-Based Economy and What it Means for Marketers

We’ve crossed into new territory and our ascension has been fostered by the rapid cycle of technological innovation, the proliferation of information technology infrastructure and the number of people connected to each other in real-time.

In a recent article about the Sectors of the Economy, Matt Rosenberg does a good job of defining the primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary and quinary sectors of economic activity. As you know, most of the developed nation/states on the planet possess highly developed third-stage (tertiary stage) economies in which over 75 percent of economic activity is generated by service activities (including government). In the graphic below, this sector of economic activity is highlighted with a star to illustrate its importance to those of us living in developed countries.

Few have noticed that the countries in the developed world are shifting from a tertiary stage of economic activity to the quaternary stage of economic activity: a knowledge-based economy. Clearly the degree of connectedness has contributed to this almost imperceptible transition to the knowledge-based economy. So, although somewhat late and in the spirit of the World Cup, let’s officially declare the knowledge-based economy open for competition. As illustrated here, although service-based economic activities remain dominant, knowledge-based activities represent the growth area.

What does this have to do with marketing? Almost all of what exists in the realm of social media contributes to knowledge. New experts are emerging based on their knowledge of social media, best practices, diffusing knowledge and establishing their personal brand using content marketing.

Copyblogger provides an excellent overview of content marketing (Content Marketing 101), but the essence is that the content provider embraces, either explicitly or implicitly, the concept of open source and provides content for free. Thus, the answer to the question “What if we gave it away?” is that doing so builds networks and relationships that offer opportunities for monetization. In essence, content marketing is analogous to the primary economic sector activity of farming: you plant a seed (content), add water and fertilizer (more content) and wait for it to germinate and grow.

How is this marketing? In the knowledge-based economy, you (the knowledge provider) build your network globally through demonstrating mastery of some sought-after service (e.g., metrics and platforms ala HubSpot, knowledge and research ala Forrester, good content and innovative branding ala Chris Brogan). Marketing is the foundation of the knowledge-based economy.

For those of you already competing in the knowledge-based economy: congratulations on being innovators. For the rest of you, jump in now and become an early adopter before the landscape becomes too crowded to allow you to gain a foothold. Some knowledge required.

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