Content marketing is wonderful. But it’s not for everyone. If any of these ring true, maybe don’t bother. Don’t call us if you…
1. Prefer instant gratification
Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. A marathon with no finish line. Because if it keeps working, why would you ever stop?
You can get instant gratification. You can convert customers from the starting gun. But don’t expect to be as good as you could be. You’ve got to put in the hours and stay limber. Serve up a regular diet of quality content and keep your audience hungry for more.
2. Don’t like to sweat
Content is tough. There are a hundred and one things to keep track off and a thousand more you haven’t thought of. And everyone else is at it, too. Content marketing is a strategy to develop long-term, valuable relationships with customers. The potential rewards are huge and hard fought. If it was easy, the stock market would grow in line with clickbait. And we’d be out of a job.
Now obviously hiring the right people can save you a lot of bother. But to really work, content marketing needs an organisation wide commitment. If you’ve got expertise, show us your experts.
3. Pretend this isn’t marketing
Your customers are not stupid. They know you’re marketing to them. Don’t pretend you’re going to change their lives and then start listing product features (you can do that on your website). At best your content will make your audience more informed and better able to make decisions that enhance productivity and save money. That’s still a pretty good achievement, though.
If you can do that then have confidence to go in for the stronger sell. You’ve earned it.
4. Think it’s all about you
Too many businesses rationalise content marketing by saying: what do we have to do to make this worth it for us? Turn that thinking around. What are you prepared to give your customers to make it worth their while?
Now, both these questions are technically rephrasing the same thing i.e. there must be sufficient value exchange for both parties to justify the investment in money and/or time. One is accurate and cynical. The other is accurate and positive. Which ethos do you think produces the best content?
Ditch the “bare minimum” thinking that characterises so much lacklustre B2B fodder and approach the task with the intention of sharing to create truly interesting, useful content.
5. All writing, no reading
Do your research. We’d be naive to say that unsubstantiated opinions don’t hold any weight—they’re everywhere (just check your Facebook feed). We’d also be lying if we said cherry picking statistics from dubious sources isn’t effective sometimes. 9 out 10 people seem to trust (or at least engage with) any old stat…
But sooner or later, you’ll get found out. And you won’t persuade intelligent decision makers without some credible third party information in your next report.
If you’re a recognised leader or foremost expert, your word counts for a lot. Getting to that position takes proof—cite your sources and don’t skip to the end.
6. Play it safe
Ever noticed how pretty much all the content out there is dull, derivative or outright dire? Do you think the marketing team anguished about releasing this detritus into the world? Nope. It all got signed off with no trouble at all. Because it’s easy to agree to something that doesn’t break the mold. And for every genuinely brilliant idea you stumble upon, there’s an untold heap of better ones that were discounted, discarded or diluted beyond recognition—usually by committee.
Play to win. Don’t play it safe.
7. Don’t like spending money
Content is usually the cost-effective option. Cost-effective. Not dirt cheap. Invest in quality, long-term assets and allocate sufficient budget on promotion. Ensure you track all channels to effectively measure your ROI—so you’ll know for sure how well it’s working.