Defense contractors are using content marketing to build awareness, improve lead generation and strengthen customer retention and loyalty.
The most recent Aviation Week and CSC A&D Market Survey confirmed the growing interest in diversification within the aerospace and defense industry:
Where until recently federal and government markets were seen as the source of growth and prosperity, companies are instead focusing on the commercialization of existing products — first domestically, then internationally.
As defense contractors look for growth in commercial markets, marketing has become more important.
In the past, business development and sales for defense contractors was less dependent on traditional marketing. Plus, traditional outbound marketing (advertising, news releases, direct mail, etc.) was less of an effective option for those defense contractors that did invest in it.
The need for defense contractors to invest in marketing as they seek commercial opportunities is coinciding with significant changes in the world of marketing.
As traditional marketing wanes in effectiveness, a new wave of more effective, less costly marketing is on the rise: content marketing. The timing for defense contractors couldn't be better.
In contrast to the interruptive approach of traditional marketing, content marketing is about drawing your prospects to you with remarkable, useful content and then nurturing them toward the next step in the sales process.
One defense contractor using content marketing is CSC, which is #23 on the Defense News Top 100 Defense Contractors. An example of their content marketing is the Aerospace & Defense Outlook, published with Aviation Week.
The 16-page report is expertly researched, written and prepared. It's the type of report that you would expect to pay for, but it is free. And that is one of the tenets of content marketing. The report generates awareness for the firm and positions it as a thought leader in the defense industry. (Defense is one of several industries served by CSC.)
But it doesn't stop at producing the report. CSC, like any good content marketer, repurposes its content into a variety of mediums for as wide a distribution as possible.
According to Wikipedia, CSC is a $22 billion dollar company with 98,000 employees. Some defense contractors might assume that only a company that size can undertake a content marketing effort.
The truth is, a company one-thousandth the size of CSC, with $98 million in revenues and 98 employees could be doing a similar content marketing effort (although maybe not as large a program). Keep in mind that CSC serves several industries worldwide and needs to reach a large number and variety of prospects, customers and influencers. A smaller company shouldn't need to have that kind of reach.
So just how small can a company be and still do an effective content marketing effort? Smaller than you think. I'll use myself as an example.
I spend anywhere from 5-10 hours a week writing and promoting this blog. (And I'm also running a marketing agency.) The out-of-pocket costs for this blog are less than $750/year (of course, that does not include the cost for my time which is the primary expense).
So if you, as a small- to medium-size defense contractor could benefit from a content marketing effort to build your business, you don't have to be a $98 billion dollar company. Or even a $98 million dollar firm. When it comes to marketing today, the size of your brain is now more important than the size of your marketing budget.
What do you think? Please join the conversation below. And if you found this helpful, please share it with your network.