HubSpot creates apps, blogs, videos and papers and more, but all of it is focused on one thing: “inbound marketing” that pulls customers to companies.
The award-winning content team at OpenView Labs produces newsletters, podcasts, videocasts and ebooks, yet everything they create is centered around one topic: “helping software companies grow.”
Both HubSpot and OpenView Labs have found considerable success with their content, but to achieve it, they first found a turf: a subject matter area in which they concentrate their content energies, an editorial platform that creates and then meets audience expectations through each and every execution of content, regardless of format.
Their relentless focus has NOT stifled their creativity. On the contrary, it has liberated it, providing unambiguous direction for their efforts.
What, then, constitutes a successful turf? Three things:
1. Audience urgency: Your topic area should not only cover an area your customers/prospects are interested in, per se, but should target a terrain that is especially urgent for them. HubSpot, for example, doesn’t just talk about marketing for SMB companies; they speak to the urgent need to use sophisticated, yet easy-to-use web tools to attract customers cost-effectively.
2. Internal expertise: What are you credibly qualified to talk about? Where can you apply the combined impact of your experience and knowledge? OpenView Labs builds on the expertise of its parent company, Open View Venture Partners, to speak from experience about what works and what doesn’t work to help new software companies go from start-up to star enterprises.
3. Point of view: One of the leading public relations pros in the world, Larry Weber, says about being in the media, “Have an opinion – even if it’s wrong.” He’s right. It’s not enough to “talk” about an issue; to capture and hold attention, you need to have a take on an issue, a stake in the ground, some skin in the game. (Choose your metaphor.) If you’re proven wrong, so what? Acknowledge your error and move on. The greater sin, by far, is to be boring. Your content should never be neutral – it must advocate a point of view your company genuinely believes in.
In sum, you can think of your strategic content subject area as a kind of formula:
Turf = (Audience x Urgency) + (Internal Expertise x Point of View)
In my Content Marketing 101: Getting Started workshop at Content Marketing World, we’ll run an exercise that will help you calculate your company’s optimal content turf. (Psst. You can save $100 when you register by August 15 and use the coupon code, CMWA100.)