Industry Expertise is a Definite Advantage in Marketing
When digital marketing agencies market their services, they promote the technique, process and work involved in marketing for clients.
They make a big deal out of the team effort, market reach, and delivery of content. This encourages clients to spend big to try hard to reach customers and keep them loyal. There’s certainly good value in that.
One area where agencies don’t excel and don’t pursue is industry vertical expertise. More emphasis is being put on industry verticals, and how to win them via authoritative content and topic expertise. This is especially so in industry verticals where gaining visibility and leadership are very difficult. It’s often winner take all.
Today, companies do look to their B2B agency to take some of this content expertise challenge off of their plate. But it’s not just offloading tough work. They’re actually needing someone to do a better job of communicating expertise, as a key part of their own unique value proposition to customers.
CMI’s survey discovered clients want partners with adequate topic expertise, empathy for their audience, and those who can provide strategic advice.
Building expertise and communicating that authoritative position helps content strategists and conversion copywriters create unbeatable selling points and value propositions. If your goal is market leadership, this communication of expertise is very important.
Vertical industry expertise is a favorite topic for companry executives, leaders, and strategists
While big budget visibility is necessary today, it’s still the topic expertise that attracts prospects and keeps current clients engaged. Building expertise, producing value in content, and keeping a deeper connection with customers/clients who are looking for insight, inspiration, creative insight, and actionable ideas is a very important deliverable.
Companies without a deep, committed, and knowledge of the client’s business can leave them uncompetitive. On top of that is the content specialist’s ability to communicate thought leadership. There are mediocre talents who can portray industry leadership even though the grasp of topics, technology, and practices is limited.
That’s the benefit of marketing. We take what’s available, focus it and magnify it for our client’s gain.
Expertise isn’t for show. It is truly about understanding customers, technology, markets, and business trends, and turn that knowledge into a competitive advantage (see the Digital marketing performance audit).
The expertise gained is to be leveraged for better SEO, social media and delivery of a company’s unique value proposition.
Customer’s choose brands, companies and products/services based perceived value. And when an authoritative content strategist consistently delivers a UVP with an edge, it will win customers.
Content expertise isn’t everything. It has to reach customers/prospects and be supported by an overall campaign that makes it valuable. That’s part of the credibility. A blogger for instance doesn’t gain traction often, because there’s no big money committed effort to put ummph into the expertise offering. It doesn’t appear to be the full commitment.
Hiring Subject Expertise Talent
Hiring talent with insider knowledge and brilliant intellectual skills can truly build market leader advantage. B2B businesses especially need to find researcher/copywriters who can produce persuasive, engaging and thought leading content. This content when widely distributed can create immense impact on what customers focus on, and believe.
The point is to go beyond content strategy and copywriting to delivering information that appears to be industry leading. Look at any industry leader and they have well researched and powerfully presented content that supports their market leader status.
How to Find a Specialist with the Right Expertise
It’s highly unlikely you’ll find the industry expertise within marketing agencies which you need to give you an advantage. It’s unlikely they will even have exceptional content building talent available. They don’t grow on trees.
The whole business model of digital marketing agencies pivots on ultra efficient delivery of, and leveraging of your content. They just vary presentation which isn’t good enough. You need a content strategist with leadership capabilities. Look for a content strategist who has built expertise in various industries, who isn’t already working with competitors.
They only have enough time and funding to take your messages and materials to the marketplace via Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and news publishers. In taking your message without deep understanding, they can’t build the market leader impact.
- investigate their published content and assess the depth of their material
- do they communicate a deep grasp and do they get key points across clearly?
- have they published books related to the topic?
- are the articles and graphic images impactful emotionally to you?
- does their content contain sophisticated insight and carve out unique solutions they can offer
- do they appear to understand the company’s UVP well?
- how do they improve the UVP with credibility and more personal relevance to customers?
- do they have a deep understanding of your industry vertical?
- do they appear to empathize and understand your audience?
- what do you think their full potential is?
- assess the tone of voice in their copy and if it sounds like it will move serious B2B buyers
- what kind of success has their efforts delivered (rankings, traffic, engagement, social shares, leads, sales revenue)
- how sophisticated is the type of content they use (e.g., video, podcast, graphics, case studies, reports, research, and social posts)
- is their content featured in industry portals?
- do they use content well on Linkedin?
- what does their Linkedin profile suggest about them?
- is their content strongly linked to from other websites?
- are they an influencer in the industry?
It’s unlikely you’ll fulfill many of these assessment items, since usually only the current industry leaders have such presence and approval of followers. It takes time to build that kind of reputation and reach.
You’re looking at this as part of the plan to build market leadership, topic authority and reputation in your vertical.
The effort is absolutely worth it, if your goal is business leadership. The struggle to capture this talent, develop them and capture the incredible sales potential of market leadership will make a difference to your startup or business.
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