Can your company move into new vertical business markets through a focused content marketing effort?
Content marketing is being used more often by companies to establish presence, stake a position and drive leads and conversions. Gary Vaynerchuk recommends for pre-launch companies to do “Content Content Content!” when trying to rally support for their launch. Why wouldn’t a similar approach work for companies looking to spread into different vertical markets?
IT Expert Karl Walinskas offers 4 key ways to evaluate new vertical markets:
- Come up with and write down 3-5 industries that you think are worth targeting.
- Ask for each: is that industry flush with cash? This is why health care, financial services, government services, and higher education tend to be major market segment choices.
- Now ask for each: is the industry undergoing massive change? The change can be internally or externally driven, such as massive new legislation (Obamacare, Sarbanes-Oxley) or world events.
- Any of your trial verticals where you answered a Yes to questions 2 and 3 stands to be a vertical market worthy of your investigation.
Creating content marketing expertise in vertical markets can help buyers in those markets get to know you, thus growing an understanding of and trust for your company. It’s about doing content marketing not only across channels (websites, social media, videos, events, etc.) but more proactively within new vertical markets. Creating great videos, blog posts, infographics, and curated content toward a specific vertical or two can:
- Help open up new markets for your company’s product or services
- Prime the audience for more products later on
- Position you as an upstart in an established vertical market
Those in content marketing circles know the story of how fiberglass pool company owner Marcus Sheridan used his blog and content marketing to grow his swimming pool business to heights previously unknown. Today, Marcus himself has moved into a new vertical – Content, Inbound, and Social Media Consulting and Speaking Services. Using great content to establish trust, authority, and build an audience has elevated his status in this market and created a completely new business for himself.
Understanding Vertical Markets
It’s important to understand the vertical market you’re seeking to enter. A key way to do this is to learn as much as you can about the industry, using its jargon, acronym and forecasts. Then tailor your content marketing efforts using these terms specifically to capture new audiences within the vertical market. Just as a dedicated NFL fan can spot a weekend poser by the terminology used about the game’s fundamentals, so too can your content betray your industry understanding.
To be good at content, your content should be top quality, first and foremost. Get to know your industry topics well, and become the relevant expert in a certain category. Becoming knowledgeable in a vertical makes you much more valuable than becoming familiar across a range of horizontal topics.
A big benefit to content specialization in particular verticals is less competition for your content. You’ll find more focused readers and less widespread noise if you are targeting an audience that’s seeking answers on niche subjects like security practices in government buildings or organically produced children’s clothing, for example. That reason alone is compelling enough to position yourself as the expert in a new vertical…through content.