Customers generally think they know what they are looking for, and perform web based searches accordingly. However, there are several types of content available from the following types of sources:
- Traditional "broadcast" style content - that is, what businesses wish to convey to new and potential customers about their offerings.
- Anecdotal, social media driven content - what existing customers, with their own biases and varying levels of credibility, have discussed about the business and those same offerings.
- Third party (e.g. Forrester Research) sources also provide useful content and competitive comparisons.
|Showing the intersections of traditional marketing, content available via social media, and the body of information customers are seeking, in Venn diagram form.|
The enablement of social media driven content to be presented in aggregators and newsfeeds on official business sites is represented here in the area shaded in orange. This body of content too, is increasing in volume and prominence for B2B.
There also exists content that customers don't realize consciously that would be beneficial to them and thus are not seeking - which may come from any of the areas in yellow, orange, or pink. Even when this is optimized for the most salient topics or keywords, the right people are not choosing to search for them, so it remains difficult to discover.
From this last point, I would hope that part of content strategy for businesses includes the effort to identify and optimize these useful pieces of their online presence. And I look forward to doing exactly this for several of my clients in 2014.