It’s an interesting question and I could go either way with this one (even though I preach constantly about brands not branding their content). Should your content be branded or vendor agnostic?

When we consider branded content, this would consist of:

– Case studies
– Product reviews
– Testimonials
– Product datasheets
– Product spec sheets
– Company PowerPoint decks
– Demo videos

Seeing the word ‘product’ here a lot right? Now while all of these forms of content are useful and genuinely helpful to customers and prospects, they are really selling something. A person needs to be really engaged with a brand or have raised their hand with a problem in order for any of these to be relevant. Sending one of these to someone in your first interaction is kind of like someone you meet for the first time at an event giving you their elevator pitch. Gross!

Now vendor agnostic content is a bit different because while it may be someone at your company that is writing and publishing the material, you are really not talking about your company at all. The purpose is to educate your audience on a topic you perceive yourself to be an expert at – and by ‘yourself’, I am talking about your brand/company. These would consist of:

– Best practices videos
– Whitepapers
– Analyst reports
– Webinars
– Blog posts
– eBooks
– Articles

What is right for you?

I don’t think the question is so much ‘what is right for you’ as it is ‘what is right for you right now and for this person’. Consider this for a moment. You need branded content and you need vendor agnostic content. You really cannot survive with one and not the other so don’t make that the question.

Make the question about the customer and where they are in the buying process and what is right for them at that moment.

Make the question about the medium and how you want to engage with an audience through a certain channel.

Make the question about your company goals – sell or convert?

Stop asking the ‘or’ question and start asking when.