From The Editor | May 26, 2021

Lessons Learned: Tell Me Something I Don't Know

Joe Cogliano Head Shot

By Joe Cogliano

Lessons Learned graphic June 2021

Content that engages readers by addressing the challenges they face is a great marketing tool for water and wastewater solutions providers. However, too many companies still focus this effort on themselves and their product while most readers have a strong filter for an advertisement that’s dressed up to look like helpful content.

Do you really want to create content that positions your company as a thought leader? Well then, tell me something I don’t know.

That’s the message from Manny Teodoro, Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and a popular water/wastewater industry blogger, in a recent Water We Talking About? podcast.

Teodoro has emerged as one of the more prominent industry voices by translating the ideas that come from academic research into terms that are meaningful. He started producing content just a few years ago because he saw critical information going only to academic journals, which water industry professionals didn’t have the time and energy, or the awareness, to read.

However, he thought those same people would read 500 to 1,000 words that are put together in an engaging fashion. So, the blog launched as an effort to more effectively reach water utility managers and other professionals who serve the sector, such as vendors and consultants. Readers appreciate what Teodoro has to say because it’s original and has value.

“If you put a quality product out there, people will find it,” he said.

Another key to successful content is focusing on a narrow audience. In other words, don’t worry about writing for mass appeal.

“It’s more important to me that I reach the right hundred people every day than reaching 10,000 people who have no interest or engagement in the water sector,” said Teodoro “But, if one of those hundred people is the head of a state regulatory agency, the CEO of a major wastewater system, or an investor, it’s important to reach those people because they’re the ones who are going to take my ideas and put them into practice.”

Whether it’s content you are generating for your own website or as a partner with Water Online, the lesson here is the same — that water and wastewater solutions providers can improve your long-term visibility by focusing less on yourself and more on addressing the primary challenges of your target audience.