The best thought leadership and B2B content marketing aimed at the marketing community is currently coming from marketing technology providers. Look at HubSpot, Eloqua, Google, Marketo, Adobe and SEO Moz if you don’t believe me.
As marketing becomes an increasingly digital discipline, I believe there is a real danger that agencies will lose their place as trusted advisor to the marketing department, to marketing technology firms.
It is already Adobe’s stated objective to be the best friend to the CMO and they are spending heavily to get there.
The problem for agencies is technology companies remove the 'magic' - they are about logic, leading to the belief marketing is all science and no art. Which we know isn’t true.
So why are the companies above, and many more like them, investing so heavily in content marketing and thought leadership material?
Technology companies recognise that today, new clients are increasingly researching solutions and consuming content. If prospects consume your content, they self-educate on your offer, and educated buyers close quicker and take less of your valuable resource and time.
Now it’s not that agencies are not producing content - some big names are, and are spending vast sums of money on it. It’s more a case that: a) content isn’t being promoted effectively; b) the kind of content being produced has little actual demand - being interesting is only a small part of it; c) agencies are going for one-off high investment pieces.
Content needs to be in demand - you can find out if it is by studying search and social trends and reacting quickly to them. It needs to be promoted effectively, so SEO optimising, and seeding your content is vital, as well as hosting events and webinars.
And you need a steady stream of content around areas you can own - not simply a one-off global study.