As the flavor du jour, content marketing has been embraced by many marketers. But don’t be fooled. Many are just content pushers.
Taking on the trappings of content producers, content marketers spit out white papers, blog posts, e-books, videos, and SlideShares in an attempt to see what sticks, not to mention running paid ads on social media or redoing a website for the umpteenth time. And how can we forget webinars and events and brochures and landing pages? Meanwhile, much of this content fails to engage.
It all sort of reminds me of the dieter who slurps the occasional green smoothie and chomps on a carrot in between gorging on ice cream and candy. In both cases, there is no strategy or plan, just blips of effectiveness surrounded by excess.
So begrudges a wizard of content marketing, Michael Brenner,
who shrewdly created his own personal brand via content marketing as VP of Marketing and Strategy for SAP. Recently, Michael left SAP to head up strategy for content marketing company NewsCred.
Most marketers are doing check-off-the-box content marketing with tactics overrunning strategy, Brenner told me.
“‘Let’s do a white paper. Check. Let’s run a webinar. Check. Let’s create a video. Check,’” said Brenner.
That approach contrasts to those companies that get content marketing. The successful companies, says Brenner, have a documented content marketing strategy. They know what they want to accomplish and how to get there.
And those companies leading by tactics? Much of their content never sees the light of day, says Brenner, quoting a SiriusDecisions study that reported that a whopping 60% to 70% of content goes unused.
So what needs to happen? Brenner recommends three changes:
Marketers need to create an organization centered on the customer. “A customer-centric business will naturally evolve its products and its marketing to meet customer needs, to tell engaging stories, and to earn the trust of the world we live in.
Today most marketing is organized by channels, with advertising, demand generation, event marketing, social media, and branding all having their own entities. Instead departments need to organize around customers with three areas prominent: content, data, and technology. And while you are at it, forget all the company self-promotion in favor of engaging customers.
Typically marketing works in spurts around campaigns. According to Brenner, marketers need to have a consistent regular effort rather than short bursts. “Create a machine of continuous and consistent content creation. It is the only sustainable way to earn new customers without paying incrementally for each new one.”
For Brenner, most companies are behind the content marketing curve. What are you doing to up your game? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.