The Content Writing Opportunity You Should Take Seriously
I used to think of myself as a content writer. Today, that doesn’t begin to describe what I do. Yes, I still write. But mostly I am listening. To conversations inside IT companies, that have hired us to
a. Mine the knowledge inside, and
b. Handle the entire marketing process, since it’s all content driven anyway.
So I am a content marketer now, in the B2B IT space. And while our clients are selling some tech solution or product, we understand, just as our clients do, that the messaging has to be founded on ‘who they are’. Their values, USPs and culture have to seep into the content, rendering their offerings in their real colours. And their customers are likely to connect with that than some standard ‘saves cost, improves productivity’ statements.
Our clients want us to be in their workplace, as part of them. So we pick up stories, the nuances of the culture, the values playing out at the workplace, as well as the stories of how their team and tech saved the day for their customers. We often see change happening in real time.
And this is the method the SMBs (small and medium businesses) must wake up to. They don’t need inhouse content writers, they need in-sourced content marketers who really are brand journalists. Many of the large companies and bigger mid-size companies have inhouse writers who are expected to be, and behave as content writers, not content marketers. But the smaller companies that have set huge growth goals for themselves don’t want to hire inhouse writers. They just want their stories to be told, their offerings to interest new audiences and markets. Those stories, are not on the Internet, they are inside the demo rooms, the data centers, cafeterias, hallways, CEO’s rooms, even customer locations of the client.
Content writers who think they can write, because there is the World Wide Web, need to re evaluate their skill sets as that’s becoming defunct, as relevance takes center stage, in fact the entire stage. Tech writers and journalists who find themselves in an industry on its way down could find a thrilling way of writing stories by being the voice of a company. Why thrilling? When your content can get in a sales enquiry worth a packet to the client, you will know what I mean. (Of course those with strong editorial sensibilities will disagree. This post is NOT addressed to them.)
So it’s not enough to be good with content writing. You need to spot story ideas where others can’t, you need to listen deeply, ask questions, hang out with people to seek out information, chase them to send inputs. You need to be comfortable talking to the CEO, as well as the guy who serves you tea. You need people to trust you. It’s a lot like what journalists do.
But you also need to know how the Web works (and how Google works), how social works, what kind of online tools could help with the goals of your content creation exercise. You need to know how your content is performing, and how you will need to change tack. There is a lot of learning and possible unlearning as well, on an ongoing basis. You need to be a content strategist.
It’s a great opportunity hungry to be tapped. Who’s up for it?
Republished from Niswey Blog.