How you can profit from construction marketing’s democratization

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desktop publising
Wikipedia image of an open-source desktop publishing program

Some 25 years ago, when I launched my publishing business in 1988-9, I discovered opportunities from the new Mac and desktop publishing. The concept — you would not need to go to expensive service bureaus or printers to set your type, graphics and layouts — everything could be done on a computer, with layouts prepared in your spare bedroom. This opened the possibility of evolving from a journalist to publisher. I could start publishing without significant capital investment though of course needed to raise funds for printing and the contract graphic designers who could handle the desktop equipment.

Fast forward. Today, you don’t need desktop publishing and printing to produce text, video, graphics, and circulate your message to countless people anywhere in the world, but equally, to specific defined audiences who will be interested in your products or services. Media pundits have described these trends as convergence — in that you can combine video, text, and web communications into one package.

But the grander evolution occurs when businesses and organizations converge from their trade/speciality to become publishers themselves. They create editorial content, which builds credibility and effectiveness, and bypasses the need for conventional third-party media services.

Of course, you need to think differently when preparing your content. You have to see the world from the eyes of a journalist or publisher. “What does the market want and how will it be interesting to them?” This is easier said than done.

The solution, in place since advertising and independent media first sought revenue from publicity-seeking businesses 100 or more years ago, may be the publicist or media specialist — but you may find less expensive options by assessing your staff expertise, especially individuals with a reputation strong enough to present at conferences and write academic/technical papers. Your challenge: Convert their material into formats and styles that appeal to your audience and publish/post or otherwise distribute it (sometimes in exchange for email addresses and more rarely, for a fee) to build that reputation.

You can blog, post the content on your web pages, distribute it for use on other sites or blogs (though it is best not to mass distribute stuff on the web — duplicate content turns off the search engines) or make videos/webinars.

See some more insights in my Social Media and Marketing book.

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