Tech companies have often lead the way in experimenting with new marketing concepts. Businesses built on change and innovation will arguably feel more comfortable exploring new directions than those that operate in more traditional sectors.
So it is not surprising that many tech companies have pioneered the use of content marketing, especially in the United States. Microsoft has a long history of providing content targeted at its customers, as do many companies which have evolved from being largely tech providers into media companies- the most obvious being Aol which now owns The Huffington Post, Engadget and many others. BT in the UK, which runs news, sport and tech channles, is another example.
Other companies began blogs on their corporate sites as long ago as the mid 2000s giving their senior execs the opportunity to share their thoughts about the industry with a wider audience
More recently mobile phone chip maker Qualcomm blazed a trail with its Spark portal which took content marketing in the sphere to a new level. A team of specially recruited tech journalists worked to deliver a website that took an insider eye on the future in the type of way consumer titles like Wired had being doing for years. The key difference is that occasionally the articles would subtly reference work that Qualcomm was developing.
General Electric's GE Reports emerged at similar time and offers readers content in three categories; invocation, perspectives and performance. Articles on exploring the brain's potential - for example an interview with a prominent Icelandic scientist - sits next to a story which highlights how GE has worked with wind farm operators in South America to deliver cheaper electricity. It is one of the most accomplished examples of content marketing online.
Another key trend is the creation of portals for tech companies on existing media sites. Interestingly GE has also worked with major US digital publisher Quartz on a portal that is housed on the Quartz Site. World in Motion is a warehouse for GE's articles, videos, graphics and social media posts from around the globe.
So why do the tech companies value content so highly?
Until fairly recently tech companies, especially in the B2B sphere, tended to keep their expertise to themselves. The growth of content marketing has challenged this assumption. Surely one of the best ways to develop trust and an affinity with customers is to show that you really do know what you are talking about. In an excellent blog post on B2B thought leadership at Imedia Connection Gordon Plutsky argues
‘Those that have are able to rise to the top of consumer and prospect awareness by using once-proprietary knowledge to establish themselves as thought leaders in their field. They don't give away the house, but they share enough valuable insights to pique audience's' interest and prove they're worth their salt.’
There is also the more subtle fact of underlining to readers that the company is very future focused. Blog posts about future trends and interviews with prominent futurologist’s emphasis to the reader that the company, no matter what its heritage, is very much focused on creating, and being a part of tomorrow. Intel’s IQ website is another highly effective portal that majors on future tech and the company’s role in creating it.
Read the full article here
More like this
The Economist EVP on the power of content as a strategic marketing resource
What effective B2B content marketing looks like
Ten content marketing game changers to look for in 2016
How Marie Claire is embracing a more diverse range of voices
Focusing on social and political issues, giving readers current events news in context may sound more like a news magazine than a Marie Claire, but women’s magazines have been producing this kind of content since creation, according to Kate Lewis, Hearst Digital Media’s SVP/editorial director in the US. There is good reason why it is now more noticeable...
21st Jun 2017
Nine steps to rapidly transform your legacy teams
No amount of tinkering at reorganisation will work. Tinkering has failed. New business models and new editorial models require new thinking, new roles, new workflows, and new organisational structures, writes INNOVATION Media Consulting senior director John Wilpers.
19th Jun 2017
Four industry experts share insights on innovating live events
Live events are a rapidly growing revenue source for publishers, but as the field becomes ever more competitive event organisers need to be nimble, creative and innovative to remain on top of the game. Here, we combine the insights of four leading industry experts on developments within the sector.
25th Jun 2017
Reuters Digital News Report 2017 highlights lessons for publishers across multiple markets
Growth in social media for news discovery is flattening out, ad-blocking on desktop has stalled, brand recall on social is low, voice-activated digital assistants are emerging as news platforms in some countries and regions. If the Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2017 makes one thing clear, it is that the digital revolution is full of contradictions and exceptions, for the simple reason that countries and regions across the globe started this revolution at different times and places and aren’t progressing at the same pace.
22nd Jun 2017
Millennials no more: The Week Junior and AwesomenessTV on engaging younger audiences
While the industry continues its pursuit of ‘millennials’, the generation of media consumers coming up behind them is still to a large extent being overlooked. Here, Kerin O’Connor from The Week Junior, and Kelly Day from AwesomenessTV, give us their take on how publishers can better understand even younger audiences.
28th Jun 2017