Content Marketing at Thomas Krenn
„Content marketing will likely become our most important pillar regarding the marketing in the next two years.“, says Max Wittenzellner, CSO of the Thomas-Krenn.AG from Freyung in Lower Bavaria. Today, the Thomas-Krenn.AG is among the leading providers of servers in Germany, the business operates solely online. „We want to grow substantially in the next years and want to attack the current no. 1, Dell.“, says Wittenzellner. And content is the key: „Via content we can prove our competence. We offer service for our customers via content. We are found via content. And content brings us to the very top regarding search engines!“
Max Wittenzellner: Via content we can prove our competence, we are found via content and content brings us to the very top in the search engines!
In general, content marketing means that a company processes content editorially for customers – hence with use and not promotional. This can be general articles, instructions, whitepapers, studies and much more. Because the customer does not regard the content as promotional, he accepts more easily, deals with it much stronger than with advertising messages. Thus, the company gains reputation and acknowledgement.
Currently the „TK-Wiki“ is the most important measure of the Thomas-Krenn.AG in the battle for attention, which the company operates since 2008. Here, the Thomas-Krenn.AG bundles the know-how of the employees regarding server technology. The articles deal with installation- and configuration guides, technical explanations, and concrete solutions. The access figures clearly demonstrate that these contents are relevant to the customers: the Wiki produces traffic of 5.000 visitors per day and thus contributes enormously to the prominence and reputation of the Thomas-Krenn.AG. Furthermore, content is also published on Facebook, Google+, via Twitter and on YouTube. However, there has not yet been an explicit content strategy. The marketing posted whatever came in, everything is well and partly also elaborately produced for sharing, but there has never been a master plan, says Wittenzellner. Above all, a consequent cross-linking of „content-marketing“ and sales has been lacking so far.
To implement ambitious objectives with a new strategy
„We do have a lot of traffic on the Wiki, but it never directly led to more sales“, explains Wittenzellner. This is now set to change. The Thomas-Krenn.AG is currently implementing the new content marketing strategy. To do so, the company works together with talkabout communications, a consulting firm from Munich that is considered as one of the major specialists for online PR and social media. „An online magazine, in which the most important features of social media are integrated, meaning ‘linking and sharing’, is at the centre of the strategy“, explains Lange. „Here, all content is uploaded in a search engine optimized way, and discussed via the social networks, which in turn link to the content, ideally are shared and discussed and thus increase the relevance for Google.“ Other than in Wiki, the content here is linked intelligently to the offers of the shop and there is a clear separation: the online shop is clearly streamlined, the whole “content” goes to the online magazine. Furthermore, the Thomas-Krenn.AG will now produce content and formats in a more targeted way, based on a long-term planned content strategy. In the process, the formats will be considerably expanded and in addition to the classic tools, such as texts, images and videos, also integrate hangouts, blog parades, rankings, interviews, Explain-it-Videos, dossiers and much more. The existing channels will be extended to Slideshare, Pinterest and Instagram in the course of the relaunch and there will be a customizable newsletter.
The magazine is created based on Wordpress. This is ideal, because Google especially likes content from Wordpress and because a lot of existing widgets are available. Unlike in a traditional blog, the content in the blog is less chronological, but more structured according to topics and stories. A special feature of the Thomas-Krenn.AG’s strategy is always conveyed by people. „Our promise is: ‚We are the server experts‘. And we’d like to show exactly these: the experts, as real people“, says Wittenzellner. Thus, all relevant experts will participate personally in the communication in the internet – via the own, personal business profiles in the online magazine, on Facebook, Google+ and via Twitter. In addition to the aim to convey the server-competence and the human aspect of the Thomas-Krenn.AG, there is also a tactical consideration: the use of the „author-tag“ at Google. Google increasingly considers for the ranking, if an author is stated and how the author is linked with others. „Who uses this element well, is one step ahead of the others“, explains Mirko Lange.
Complex, but without alternative
Max Wittenzellner knows that the development and implementation of the strategy is a great deal of work. „Good content is not created in passing“, says the director, „and the development of the new architecture is time-consuming“. But there is no alternative, at least not regarding the positioning that the Thomas-Krenn.AG pursues. „We are the server experts. We live from the competence. And we must prove it!“
About the author:
Mirko Lange alias „talkabout“ (blog.talkabout.de/) is lecturer, author and media consultant for social media, content marketing and public relations. In addition to the Thomas-Krenn.AG, he gives counsel to a whole string of medium-sized companies and start-ups, especially regarding the introduction of innovative communication strategies.