When Blog Posts Aren’t Enough – A Case for Whitepapers, Surveys & Guides

dreamstime_xs_58810558Most firms that choose to build out niches do so because of their intimate knowledge in serving their target market, while some firms have niches that expand well beyond their physical borders. The most successful industry and service specializations plans all have one thing in common: their firms don’t just say they have a niche, they prove it by aligning internally, offering consulting-related services and driving a significant portion of revenue around their niche(s). Content marketing is an excellent way for firms to help amplify their niche strategy. Most firms utilize blog posts to share expertise and thought leadership, but no matter how committed a firm is to their strategy, every niche reaches the point when blog posts just aren’t enough to represent bench strength or differentiate themselves as the experts in their marketplace.

 

When a firm wants to dominate an industry in a particular area and be the ‘go-to expert,’ it needs look at more sophisticated content marketing strategies, such as Whitepapers, Surveys and Guides. These mediums can produce excellent results and help firms turn up the volume on their niche strategy. If you look at most of the big four firms and large nationals, their most innovative practices groups all employ these methods. We talk a lot about strategy in content marketing, but the buck doesn’t just stop with content development, your efforts must be strategic and unique.

 

When you begin to explore generating more sophisticated content, understand that these efforts will take significantly more time to produce. Generating results requires not only strategy, but developing something that doesn’t already exist in the marketplace. Here’s an example: Let’s say you want to develop something that positions your firm as experts in a sub vertical of manufacturing. Your find that there isn’t an industry-wide benchmarking survey on key financial data for that market. Since you already have good relationships with trade associations and serve a large subset of clients in the sub vertical, you decide to collaborate with one of your industry relationships to produce a survey. The findings from the survey should be branded under your firm’s name and the promotion can be done through the industry association as well as your efforts. The unique data gives you ample exposure through the survey, and also speaking, writing and press opportunities after the results are produced.

 

The approach above is only one example of how you can create something strategic and unique to help elevate your content marketing efforts. The same can be accomplished in simpler approaches and through the other sophisticated content marketing tactics we referenced above. Your firm’s commitment to niche development and an open mind toward the tactics listed above can give your firm access to something the rest of the marketplace and your competitors do not have. The most successful efforts with the highest ROI happen when content meets a key strategic concept that isn’t being addressed well or at all in the rest of the marketplace.

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