A post by Bob Warfield got me thinking the other day. The crux of the post was that, for all startups, there is a very important role that needs to be filled and that is the role that ensures that high quality content gets created. Clearly, in the case of a startup anyway, whomever fills this role will likely write much of that content themselves.
As Warfield points out, this is vitally important as “Content trumps SEO and Links for marketing”.
I’ve been doing a bunch of work lately with later stage organizations – some who were startups two or three years ago and some who have been in business for decades. My experience is that Warfield’s comments hold true for established as well as startup businesses.
Some of my work includes doing some strategy sessions looking at how “traditional” software companies can change themselves into “online” companies. Now I’m mindful that it’s both arrogant and counter-productive to walk into a large and successful software business and tell them to stop what they’re currently doing – after all here’s a reason that incumbents have become… well, incumbent. But clearly the world is moving ever increasingly to a model where sales, support and, most importantly, customer engagement, is occurring online.
Warfield reflects on a start-up saying that:
…content is King… Content lets you start building a following before you even have a product. Content can be a powerful differentiator against competitors, and it is content even more than product that will establish you as the Thought Leaders in your market…
My contention is that this holds true for established businesses also and that, arguably, a traditional software vendor moving to an online world likely has to focus on this stuff even more than a startup. As I said to a company recently;
Being a thought leader is great, but only if the world knows you actually think!
So, I’ll concur with Warfield when he says that startups need a Chief Content Officer, but I’ll extend that saying it’s something that every organization needs to think about.