Why content marketing is not about content
Content Marketing is a term that has become integral to the success of many companies online.
Initially titled Inbound Marketing, the phrase quickly changed to the more prominent content marketing.
Bring people into your site, shower them with knowledge, get them invested, and back all of this up with great products or services.
This is a recently discovered tried-and-true formula, but I am not content with content marketing. Content Marketing has changed from its humble roots as an honest marketing tactic, an oxymoronic thing to say in many circles.
The ultimate goal WAS to write something worth reading that builds rapport and trust in the hearts and minds of clients. While some content out there may still be worth reading, there are many reasons why content marketing is no longer about content.
Here is an explanation of why this paradigm has shifted in the wrong direction and how it can be righted.
There is far too much content
Like swimming in the ocean, looking for that one prized fish, the content piece you may have written is the prized fish. The Internet is the ocean. There is simply so much content out there that problems arise in finding your audience.
A domino effect occurs.
With so much content out there, search engines like Google and Yahoo! had to change settings, eliminating most content from search results, creating a “rich get richer, poor get poorer” scheme.
The domino then falls on the curator of the content to be more search-oriented when creating a post. Creativity and full content pages take a back seat to boring, SEO grabber titles like “How-to this” or “99 things to do that.”
Creating content slowly changed to who has the better links and who can show up in more derivative searches.
There is far too much redundancy
This is an easy one to articulate.
There isn’t an answer for everything on the Internet. No. There are 1,000 answers for everything on the Internet.
Even if the content piece you have created is filled with great information, getting your slice of the pie seen amongst the others can be difficult if not impossible without the right channels.
This is why guest blogging is so highly coveted. It allows you to get seen in another channel or audience not of your own.
There are solutions to redundancy, but the fact remains that there is a grey smog of content clouding a reader’s view from your particular page that can be difficult simply due to the fact that there already is some sort of answer for everything, regardless how right or wrong it actually is.
There is far too much burnout
There is a more important button on Facebook than the like button these days – Even a button more important than the comment button or the home button.
The button I refer to is of course the “Hide” button. I cannot think of too many people on my friends list that still appear in my news feed. Everywhere, including the social media channels has become a repository for content marketing pieces. We are inundated with this stuff from morning to night, Sunday through Saturday.
To put it simply, everyone sees way too much of this stuff. This means, the only content marketing that is going to reach is the stuff that absolutely matters to them.
What content marketing should be about
- Link and contact building based on social
- Creation or curation of Premium content
- Producing other media (Videos, newsletters, photos, books, all repurposed)
As long as we can find a specific channel to send our information to, we can float with content marketing.
Content Marketing is useless if nobody is seeing your stuff.
Link building requires the user to build a list of people to send the content to or a list of people to contact for guest blogs and posts. With a strong channel of friends, anything can be accomplished. It is important to remember that there is a specific target that your brand is after. Make some contacts with each and every post you make and keep in touch. A great strategy here is to feature some companies or people in a content piece and follow it up with a mention.
In our weekly WordPress post, we try and mention the authors of the plugins I review as well as contact them the next day. Every little bit helps. You never know when more than just your content will be needed.
Another common element you will see which is a valid content marketing strategy is the packaging of content or the premium-izing of content pieces. Take a bundle of your most helpful tips and make a book! Put together newsletters! Repurpose that stuff to get more attention and market to your target on more channels!
If we can employ the methods listed above, I believe we can get to the next phase of content marketing. Until that time comes, I vote we go back to calling it inbound marketing.
What content marketing strategies do you employ? Let’s talk!
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