o-CONTENT-MARKETING-facebookI am the “director of content marketing” at ServiceMax. To many service pros, that title is confusing. It’s not a position in a service organization and often not even a role in your entire company. But I often think about how the type of work I do in my role can benefit our customers (and the service industry in general) and believe that there is a big opportunity. Here’s why:

First Of All, What is content marketing?

Content marketing is the creation of “content” to educate your customers and prospects, ultimately building trust and sharing your company’s expertise so that they come closer to becoming a customer and/or consider you an indispensable resource full of valuable educational information.

How can it help a service organization?

Yes, your company sells products to your customers and your organization fixes them, but what separates your from your competition? Well, your service offering is probably one differentiator, but what if you extended your “services” to providing meaningful information to your customers to make them better at using and even fixing your products? This can be something as simple as videos that you shoot on an iPhone 6 or a written guide on how to integrate your product into their business process, for example. Ultimately, think about your customers’ biggest pain points and how you can help “teach them to fish.” Your sales and marketing teams will love you for this too.

Where do I find this expertise?

Your technicians and service managers are face to face with customers every day. If anyone knows your customers’ pain points, it’s them. Gather information from them, learn the ways you can help your customers be better at their jobs and then focus your content on that.

What kinds of “content” should I create?

The sky is the limit, especially today with so many ways to create content online but it’s best to start somewhat traditional. Videos are always very effective. Written guides or steps to accomplish something are also usually well received. Yes, you should see if your marketing team can distribute some of this via social media, but even in 2015, email is still king. Find out from your marketing team how you can reach customers and prospects with this content. They’ll probably even help your design and finalize your work.

What’s that? You’re not a writer?

Yes, writing takes time. Even some people who are great writers like say they aren’t because they just don’t like doing it. Well, there are a lot of resources out there that can help you write for a small fee. Just supply them with the expertise and they’ll start cranking away on it.

So there are a few ideas to get you started. Differentiation is going to continue to get more and more difficult as more companies adopt technology and become modern service organizations, but I can guarantee you that the vast majority have not gone down the content marketing path yet. It’s a big opportunity, and one you can get ahead of right now.