I have been thinking about content marketing lately and when we may see a change in the current environment. As a society, I don’t think we are very keen at understanding highs and lows or the top or bottom of trends and what is changing around us. For any readers old enough to remember, when you used to pull your car into a “filling station” someone pumped your gas, cleaned your windshield and checked your oil. Somewhere that faded away, never really to be seen again. And no one asked if that was okay, it just happened.
I have wondered for a while now why more companies were not using content marketing as effectively as they could. HubSpot had an interesting article last week on the subject entitled, Arm Yourself With Content, For Goliath Is Coming
For a while, its been a pretty good secret how successful this whole process can be. Answer some common questions from you industry with blog posts, and suddenly you’re ranking better for critical long tail keywords, building inbound links, and authority for your site. You’ve got a couple of guides and whitepapers out there to offer in conjunction with your content, and now you’re converting some anonymous eyeballs into known visitors that you can nurture into a sales process.
This secret is starting to leak out. A few news outlets have been talking about a relatively new site on the internet, ManoftheHouse.com. Here’s the story over at Australia’s The Age. Man of the House is a content-heavy site, that focuses on being a better man, but unlike outlets such as Maxim and GQ, it’s geared towards the married man and the father. Oh yeah, it’s owned and operated by Procter & Gamble, fine makers of Gillete razors and Old Spice deodorant.
Will the big corporations unseat our small business blogs? Competition for keywords will surely become much more competitive and harder to reach. Small business will also find challenges keeping up with production of content as well, as the corporations will have an army of staff writers.
Corporate Dragon Goes Hyper Local in My Neighborhood
While I can’t speak for how small business as a whole will react to Goliath, I can tell you it is a shock to actually see Goliath coming to our own neighborhood. We have been watching the subtle infiltration of Patch.com in each of the little towns that we are producing online magazines. They have become our direct competitor, literally overnight.
The concept behind Patch is journalism, with local community news editors filing stories and updating community-specific websites on local news from within the communities they serve. As of December 9, 2010, Patch had established hyperlocal sites in more than 500 communities across the United States. The result was that Patch expected to be the largest hirer of full-time journalists in the United States in 2010.
Patch was conceived and financed by Tim Armstrong and Jon Brod in 1997 after Armstrong said he found a dearth of online information on his hometown of Riverside, Connecticut. The company was then acquired by AOL in 1999 shortly after Armstrong became AOL’s CEO. The acquisition occurred on June 11, 2009. AOL paid an estimated $7 million in cash for the news platform as part of its effort to reinvent itself as a content provider beyond its legacy dial-up Internet business.
So, what is our strategy (as in my business, The Urbane Way) to slay the dragon? We plan to become much more snarky, and soooo not corporate. We’ll be much more opinionated and edgy, and go where the dragons won’t go. Said differently, we’ll be nimble enough to go where their culture won’t allow them to go.
Are you prepared for the day the dragon or Goliath show up and compete with your blog or website? You’d better be, cause they are coming. When they do, what is your strategy?