Knowledge is dead. Have you heard this?
It’s a meme making the rounds in marketing circles right now. This happens periodically, when advances in technology make accessing information easier, faster and less expensive than it was previously.
It creates a type of existential angst in the industry: What’s the point in showcasing expertise when anyone can be an expert?
Any question can be answered with a quick web search. We don’t have to know anything, we can Google it.
Well, I’m here with good news for you. Knowledge isn’t dead. Knowledge isn’t even sick. What knowledge is, however, is fundamentally misunderstood.
Google Happened. Good For You.
Yes, Google happened. The Internet is indeed out there, in all its splendid, schizophrenic glory, cram packed full of data points, which may or may not be factual, that the Internet will return to you when you do a search. But reports of knowledge’s death are entirely premature.
Proof of concept: An Internet search for “How to cure cancer” will return to you as one of the top ten results, a site that promises that the cure can be found in your kitchen cupboard—specifically, baking soda. Does this “knowledge” mean you’re ready to go forward and start healing the sick? Probably not.
Knowledge isn’t the accumulation of data points. Knowledge is the ability to judge the quality of the data points you encounter. When you’re knowledgeable about a subject, you possess a frame of reference informed by your experience and education.
How to Use Knowledge to Connect to Your Customer
Knowledge Applied is Knowledge Alive
As a business owner, your knowledge of your field is greater than your customer’s knowledge is. Demonstrating this is to your advantage. The digital landscape may be flooded with lots of information, but it’s not packed with knowledge. You have to bring that to the table. This concept needs to be at the core of your online marketing strategy.
For example, if you’re a web designer, you know that your clients can go out and search the Internet for how to build a website. They’ll find a lot of information out there—all kinds of things like HTML, CSS coding, CMS systems, mobile compatibility, responsive design, etc. And it suddenly becomes clear to them that they need help navigating all of this.
Implementing this approach and philosophy means understanding the following:
Before you begin executing this type of strategy, you need to be sure that you and your firm truly buy into this strategy. You cannot get caught up in worrying that your competitors will learn from you.
You need to be completely confident in your company and your own depth of knowledge and experience.
Become Detail Oriented
Your online presence should clearly establish that you know the facts—and not any random detail, but the most valuable particulars that are highly relevant to your customers. Tell a story no one else is telling.
This is your chance to demonstrate that you understand who your customers are and what’s important to them.
People Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
Answering your customers’ questions before they even knew they had questions is a very powerful and convincing sales technique. Don’t just give your customers the facts. Give them the facts that matter to them.
For example, an adventure travel company’s most popular blog post isn’t focused on an exotic getaway destination as you might expect. Instead, it’s a guide to traveling internationally with small children. This travel company understood that their customers were parents first and adventurers second.
They took their specialized knowledge about adventure travel with children and put it out there.
Knowledge that applies to your customers’ lives is knowledge that’s alive – alive and building your business.
Knowledge Photo via Shutterstock