- 17 September 2015
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A content marketing campaign focused on the energy sector enables surveyor CKD Galbraith to address several audiences at the same time.
Despite the short-term nature of much online material, content marketing has long-lasting impact once an initial investment has been made. By publishing content, companies have material that can deliver value for months, even years to come.
Not only does it provide valuable insights for clients, it also gives them a broader awareness of a firm’s activities and strengths. Creating high quality content means that through organic search a wide variety of potential users and customers will discover the company. It’s a highly adaptable resource that can fit numerous platforms and technological changes.
But a new challenge is emerging: how to react to what some have called a ‘content avalanche’. As content marketing becomes ever more popular, how do you stand out from the crowd?
CKD Galbraith, a leading chartered surveying firm in Scotland, wanted to develop awareness of its strength in the energy sector in a way that was informative and memorable.
For Calum Innes, the partner responsible for energy matters, a content strategy was devised to explain the firm’s positioning in an industry encompassing everything from listed utility groups to individuals wanting to benefit from renewable energy incentives.
Innes says: “We were increasingly active in some very interesting and rewarding utility and renewable energy projects, which we wanted to promote as a growth area of the business.
“We worked with our PR consultancy, Allerton Communications, to identify new ways to raise the firm’s profile as expert advisers on all property-related aspects of energy, renewable energy and utility projects and to demonstrate our expertise using real case studies that helped clients.”
The campaign involved the development of a publication called Energy Matters in both an e-zine and magazine format. “The e-zine dovetails with our wider digital communications strategy, which also includes social media and online, to raise our profile and communicate directly with our audiences while introducing us to new people and gaining feedback from readers,” says Innes.
“The magazine works in a slightly different way. It’s professionally designed collateral that supports our brand and provides a valuable service to clients and contacts at relevant industry events and at airport lounges, where it is also distributed.”
One of the greatest strengths of a content marketing campaign is that it can be used to target several audiences simultaneously. Innes says Energy Matters addresses three groups.
Firstly, landowners – farmers and estate owners who might be considering the potential opportunities for renewable energy deployment on their property either by way of power generation technology (wind, solar, hydro, anaerobic digestion technology and heat generating technology).
Secondly, investors in energy and renewables projects – developers, for instance. Finally, “other professionals with whom we could work – or do already – seeking professional services and valuation: for example, banks, accountants and solicitors,” says Innes.
The value of true connection
How important was it to emotionally connect with the audience and establish a two-way rapport? “We’re a business and we deal with business people as well as private individuals, but the human touch is extremely important in any relationship,” says Innes. “Energy Matters helps us to get the human quality across because it gives us the space to explore current themes in depth and detail.”
Innes says the biggest challenge when getting the message across was effectively bringing together the firm’s intellectual strengths. “We had to marshal the expertise of a team of several clever people, all with other things to do, and persuade them to share insights and demonstrate their expertise in a professionally produced digital channel. They find press deadlines frustrating in a world of competing demands, but we are well supported by our PR consultants – both in-house and external – whose cajoling is helpful in ensuring that copy is lodged on time. The end result is well worth the effort.
“The upshot has been that the e-zine has become a vital source of value-rich content that gives the firm something more to say and provides an additional talking point in conversations with clients and contacts,” says Innes.
In terms of effectiveness, he says the great advantage of digital content marketing strategy is measurability. “We use analytics to track who’s looking at our content, how, where and when. That helps us know more about their interests and how we can help them.
“Of course, measuring the effectiveness of the printed media is more difficult. However, we’ve been encouraged by the longevity of the publication, with enquiries arising as a consequence of reference being made to previous publications.”
He also insists there are plenty of broader benefits to the brand; in particular, it enables the firm to gain recognition among stakeholders for its industry knowledge, geographical focus, and the depth and breadth of its offering in a specialist area. Topical, persuasive examples and objective commentary are key to this.
“We can build on relationships by providing a forum for people in our network, for example, we can invite guest columnists who have interesting things to say to contribute. We also retain full editorial control, which allows us to cover particular subjects that we consider will be of interest to our audience,” says Innes.Back to all
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