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Idea: Make the Information You Provide the Oxygen of Your Industry

By Rex Hammock

Developing a corporate content strategy should have nothing to do with figuring out how many blog posts (or pieces of content) you can include in next year’s marketing budget.

Developing a content strategy should be focused on being the oxygen that your customers and prospects must breathe to do their jobs and pursue their passions.

Here are four companies that understand content is an information utility and have developed ways to turn the information and content they supply into the oxygen of the markets they serve:

  1. IMDb.com: In 1999, one of the first acquisitions Amazon made was this wiki. Jeff Bezos & Co. recognized long before the rest of us humans that e-commerce has little to do with how pretty a web page renders, but how deep and wide is the information a retailer provides. Today, IMDb.com provides millions of front doors into Amazon’s streaming video store. And the remarkable thing is that some of you are reading this and saying, “I didn’t know Amazon owned IMDb.”
  2. BabyCenter.com: If you or someone you love has ever had a baby, you know about this site and the dozens of information tools and utilities that can be personalized to your needs based on where you are in the process of baby-ness. You’ll have to look hard to see that it’s an information utility provided and owned by Johnson & Johnson.
  3. ThreatPost.com: If your profession involves network security, you know this “news service” and depend on it as one of your information-oxygen pipelines. It’s owned by Kaspersky Labs but is run with the type of independence that conveys the content is about helping someone do their job, not helping Kaspersky hype its products.
  4. CMO.com: Acquired by Adobe in the purchase of Omniture, Adobe is trying to create a news service, information-oxygen approach that provides a real-time curation of the web’s most recent marketing-related news. More than the others listed, Adobe uses CMO.com also as a branding tool and sales channel for Adobe products.

Bottom Line for Marketers: Information is the oxygen of decision making. Your content strategy should be focused on what you must do to supply the information-oxygen your customers must breathe to do their jobs or pursue their passions.

(Photo: Thinkstock)