Some of the best content marketing practices can be found from the big global consultancy and IT companies. I analyzed their activities and identified the 5 things they have in common.
McKinsey was arguably first on the scene with their McKinsey Quarterly publication, starting in 1964. The articles are written by actual McKinsey consultants and offer practical suggestions based on their experience working with the world’s largest companies. In the past decade the likes of Deloitte, PwC, IBM and Accenture have been stepping up their content marketing game. These are the five common tactics, including case studies.
- Content marketing = thought leadership
- Start an institute
- Leverage your experts
- Create proprietary C-Suite research
- Distributing & testing content formats and channels
Positioning yourself as a thought leader builds reputation, strengthens client relationships and drives new business for consultancy companies. Starting with a novel point of view, creating content around it and distributing it in the right channels.
PwC launched The World is in Beta last year, stating companies don’t merely need a digital strategy, rather a powerful adaptive strategy – fit for the digital age. Central to the program was showing the potential of emerging technologies in surprising new ways.
The second common practice is formalizing thought leadership in the organization. There’s the McKinsey Global Institute, Deloitte University Press and Accenture’s Institute for High Performance. PwC has appointed a global director of thought leadership and IBM has a chief storyteller.
Philips started the Philips Center for Health and Wellbeing with the aim of changing their reputation from one of a consumer goods company to that of a health and wellbeing provider.
People and knowledge are the main assets of any service company, so involving your own experts in producing the actual content makes all the sense. IBM Institute for Business Value says it does not even hire researchers. “Instead, consultants join the team, bringing extensive client-facing experience in a particular industry or functional area, and helping the team build a collaborative connection with the rest of the organization.” *
Another tactic is creating research that brings new perspectives to C-level executives. PwC’s Annual Global CEO Survey, launched at Davos, is probably the longest running example. But also smaller companies have been successful in doing this. Arcadis is a global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets, created the annual Sustainable Cities Index, which turned out to be their “most commercially successful campaign to date.”
Consultancy & IT companies deal with many different client industries across many different regions and marketing teams. And there is no single channel that all buyers prefer. The key is to find common themes and align them. SAP did just that with their award winning content campaign “Reimagined for the New Economy”. They created a content strategy, which was running for many months, producing more than 11 different content formats (from TED talks to blog posts) for 9 different channels. The result? Marketing generated opportunities equaled $3,675,000.
Case study: https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/sap-target-content-campaign
Neste – Pre-order the future
In our award winning project for Neste, some of these practices were actually applied. The project’s aim was to explore how we can use new types of renewable raw materials in developing tomorrow’s sustainable products and services.