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In consumer media, you are often dealing with experts talking to non-experts. Perhaps its a chef writing an article to an amateur cook, an announcer explaining the intricacies of luge to an audience unfamiliar with the sport, or a journalist explaining how a new wi-fi device will compare to older versions on a consumer electronics blog.
But business media is different. Here, experts are talking to other experts – social media experts and this creates some incredible opportunities for both sides. Mostly because the line between publisher and audience is so hazy. For instance, a magazine about the Skee Ball industry is read by the very people designing Skee Ball equipment, owners of places that install Skee Ball games, the very top players in the Skee Ball world, perhaps their trainers, and the many distributors and middlemen that make up the Skee Ball industry. Expert, expert, expert, expert, expert.
This is why social media is especially powerful in B2B markets. For a media brand, something like Twitter is not as useful to aggregate an audience and then ‘inform’ them, but in finding the experts in your field, and then listening to and interacting with them.
It’s an incredible research tool, an incredible way to test new ideas, to find trends, collaborate, and uncover the quiet but powerful voices that are hidden in your industry.
What is the ROI of all of this? Why would an editor at a business media brand care? Don’t measure ROI within the confines of any one platform, consider how the value of Twitter or any social media platform can improve your OTHER products and media channels.
How can information you learn via Twitter improve a print product, how can those you connect to on LinkedIn improve a webinar panel, how can photos on Flickr become a new type of web content?
As content marketing becomes more prolific from businesses in your niche, consider ways to leverage what they are doing. When a big manufacturer launches a social media campaign, this is not a threat, but an opportunity. How do you get in the mix? How do you extend the value of what they are doing? What lessons can others take away from it?
The web has enormous potential for education within niche markets. Right now, you can find experts in your field who are sharing their knowledge via social media. Consider how this can fit with your stated mission – not of creating content, but in pushing the businesses & careers of those in your industry forward.
Clearly, I don’t have the answers, and quite frankly, no one does. But it’s always helpful to bounce ideas off of someone else. If there is any way you think I can help, give me a call anytime: 973-981-8882. You can also follow me on Twitter: @DanBlank