Is your business equipped to meet the content challenges of a world in flux?
Every generation believes that it is living through times of unrivalled disruption. Wars, recessions, technological leaps and political upheaval… every decade has them. But rarely have they been so extreme and so intrinsically linked, creating a perfect storm of uncertainty.
So what are the specific disrupters affecting businesses and how do they build a stronger case for B2B content marketing?
The world has been getting smaller, decade by decade, as commerce extends beyond national boundaries. Increased stability and better education in developing countries created a workforce that could cut costs while improved communication and logistics connected that ‘offshore’ production to global markets.
The increased wealth of these workers created millions of new customers. Digital products, however, have never been limited by borders and can be consumed anywhere.
Donald Trump and others may try, King Canute-like, to stop the tide of globalisation but the international search for suppliers and new markets will continue. Customers and prospects alike will value businesses that provide authoritative advice on how to ride this global wave.
Trump has already embarked on a programme of radical legislative change and there is more to come. Brexit is happening. Greece’s economy is on a knife-edge. France could elect a far right, anti-EU president. Turkey is turning into a dictatorship. Indian politics are splitting yet further along religious lines. China’s growth is slowing dramatically but its aggression in the South China Sea is reaching new heights. Get the picture?
Such politically uncertain times create both risks and opportunities for businesses. Reliable, insightful information is what they require, either to protect themselves or to capitalise on such opportunities.
Among all this upheaval, one thing remains constant: the pace of technological advancement. This digital revolution is here to stay, with the bar for entry set so low that one person with a laptop and a bright idea can disrupt a whole industry.
Again, such rapid change creates a need for authoritative content that keeps audiences up to date with the latest digital developments that can open up new markets.
It may be hitting the headlines now, but don’t expect fake news to go away. Why? Because it is a way for unscrupulous people to make money (via advertising) or build political power, for example by skewing the debate during an election.
Fake news may not have a direct impact on businesses but it erodes people’s faith in anything but the most reliable sources of information. If your business can prove itself to be such a source, you will earn the trust of your audiences.
How should businesses respond?
The case for content marketing was already a strong one. Such multiple causes of disruption makes it stronger still but also create challenges for B2B marketers.
The content you share needs to be timely, relevant and expert. If you have a large editorial team with the necessary breadth of knowledge you should be fine. But what if the conversation changes and your in-house expertise is no longer so relevant? Or how would you cope if something happens on the global stage that means you need to double your output, or half it, or move away from written to visual communication to meet the latest social media trend, then back again?
One solution is to use a SaaS content platform that allows you to access hundreds of approved writers and content creators, each of them a B2B specialist with proven subject-matter expertise. Combined with account management and editorial services, you have a scalable solution that changes with your needs.