The world of content marketing is an ever-changing experience.
A bit of history
A few years ago it was a full-time effort to conduct video interviews, write blog posts, and help the sales team in other ways at Thermo Fisher Scientific’s Genetic Systems Division. (You can see some of that work at the Behind the Bench blog here.) The scope was broad; from real-time PCR to next-generation sequencing to forensic identification to capillary electrophoresis-based sequencing (otherwise known as ‘Sanger Sequencing’).
A few years later at SeraCare Life Sciences, a new blog Genomic Precision launched. (You can take a look at the first blog posts here.) Focused on reference standards for NGS, writing content was only a small part of my main responsibilities there, which was to define and develop new products for oncology reference materials. As a vendor to clinical laboroatories with many dozens of FDA-regulated controls in infectious disease diagnostics, SeraCare continues to champion the need for reliable reference materials for the advanced molecular laboratory.
Last summer I moved to a new company, Pillar Biosciences. (Here’s the story of how it went in case you missed it, ‘One door closes’ and ‘A door opens at Pillar Biosciences’.) And perhaps like clockwork (or that I cannot help but contribute to the cause of starting up a blog), The Pillar Post gets its start.
Why does a website exist?
This experience confronted me with a simple question: why does a website exist? What useful purpose does it serve? Is it only marketing (and its main stakeholder, sales?)
My answer: as a conduit of information a website exists to market a company’s image and brand, a company’s people and management, and a company’s technology and market focus.
Taking these in order: The brand is what the vision and goal and entire reason for a company coming into being is for. As Simon Sinek says, it ‘gets to WHY’. (If you are not familiar with him, his TED talk only has some 37M views, and worth a look.) The people are what will determine the company’s direction and influence it’s culture. And of course the technology will be a key differentiator in a marketplace that sees expanding applications and usefulness and markets, along with increased competition.
Some key lessons about Content Marketing
As one who has looked back at the first Tweet and Blog post made on March 4, 2012 (“Just what is the ‘Next Generation Technologist’ about, anyway?”), I’m amazed to think that it has already been six years of discovery, learning lots of new things, and spawning new relationships. I discovered that there is a large audience for quality, no matter the channel, as well as an enthusiastic audience for a narrow topic. I learned the ins-and-outs of WordPress technology as a Content Management System, as well as how search engines work.
I also learned that writing for the web is all about skimming, as the majority of people are looking at your work. I also learned the vital connection between the quality of what you read and the quality of what you write, as well as the value of having a ‘thick skin’ to get constructive feedback from whereever it may come.
And the relationships with fellow bloggers / tweeters around genomics or population genetics or personalized medicine, whether only virtual or IRL (In Real Life), how enriching these interactions are. This is a bit of a side-benefit, but what an enriching one! (I’m looking at you, Keith Robison of Omics! Omics!, and many others who I’ll be content with the ‘you know who you are’)
The new thing: The Pillar Post
Now before this sounds too much like a swan song (which it is not!), I’m happy to announce the launch of The Pillar Post, a new blog at Pillar Biosciences, with yours truly at the helm. Here’s the introductory ‘This is what this blog is about’ post, and here’s the first post about SLIMamp, the fundamental overlapping multiplex PCR technology that enables tiling across genomic regions of interest in a single-well format.
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