The marketing content we used to create compared with what we are building now is vastly different. Yesterday’s marketing content was about communicating, today it’s about building things that are useful.
The way it used to be
Early in my career as a product marketer, the keystone piece of content related to a product was the brochure. The purpose of the brochure was to communicate information about the product. I remember brochures that listed technical specifications, key points of value, some description of the intended markets and quotes from some happy customers. This brochure got used at events, trade shows, seminars, in sales meetings with customers and it lived in pdf format on our website. It was general purpose, intended for any audience, anywhere, anytime.
Things are Different Now
The way marketers think about content is so different now. Teaching prospects about our product has taken a backseat to creating content that useful to prospects. When I say “useful” I mean it helps prospects in one of the following ways
- It helps them understand different ways to solve a problem and which approach might be the right one for them
- It teaches them how to be better at something and how experts might approach a particular task/problem
- It shows them how other people or companies in similar situations have approached a problem and what the results were
- It explains a new trend or technology that’s confusing
- It helps them connect to other people who have similar problems
The content we are creating now is less and less about our products and services (at least not directly) and more and more about giving prospects something that is useful to them. Valeria Maltoni at ConversationAgent calls this “making something worth recieving” which I think is a great way to think about it.