Like a wheelbarrow, social media won’t work until you push it.
Content in marketing isn’t new, but ‘content marketing’ certainly is
Content marketing is changing the way we all do business, whether we like it or not.
We often talk about how the use of good content for marketing purposes isn’t a new practice. For centuries businesses have been using content in some shape and form to affect some kind of profitable outcome.
Whether it was John Deere’s The Furrow from the 1800s or Michelin’s guide to car maintenance in the early 1900s, content was not and is not a scalable, repeatable practice within the function of marketing. Content marketing was historically treated as a project, not a process. That’s the part that has changed.
Whether it’s due to the digital disruption and ease by which we now publish and distribute content or just the natural evolution of marketing itself, it doesn’t matter as much as the ultimate outcomes.
There can simply be no argument that as content marketing gains momentum with the quantities of content exponentially increasing it must cause us to change our overall marketing strategies and involve everyone in our organisations.
Forrester predicts that enterprise content volume is growing at a rate of 200% annually. Enterprises are now functioning as content factories, producing massive mountains of digital files that spew forth from marketing like a giant Dr Seuss machine and land squarely onto the back of the content waggon being towed. How much that waggon acts as a differentiator or as a weight that hinders forward progress is dependent on how well the content is managed.
“Pushing out content you want to publish is a lot different than executing a successful content marketing program that connects with customers by delivering meaningful experiences that are contextually relevant”. Ardath Albee
Just as there are many types of businesses, non-profits and communities there are many types of animals in the world and some are simply better suited for survival than others. However, as you think about your organisation and its ability to survive and thrive in the content marketing revolution, There are many ways to think about yourself:
- The Fox – Cunning, strategic, quick thinking, adaptable, clever and passionate.
- The Wildebeest – Follows the pack, always afraid of being left behind.
- The Elephant – Strong stable, patient, yet slow to shift to changing situations.
- The T-Rex – Extinct, or rapidly on the way to extinction.
While many are developing their content strategies, increasing investment and producing more content, be careful. If you ‘follow the herd’ too closely, you won’t always see where you’re going. Always be mindful of your strategy, your investment, your content quality and its relevance.
Buyers are already overwhelmed, not just by their own content, but the 1,000s of pieces of other organisation’s content they receive. The move to marketers becoming the next generation of publishers will continue, and therefore, you would be well advised to think about how to be different in order to break through all the noise.
We are all in the midst of a historic transformation for businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes, everywhere and their use of content in their marketing mix. Go beyond the traditional sales pitches and marketing hype and enhance your business and its marketing by publishing relevant content and ideas that customers will value.
Content marketing, when it aligns with customer problems, frustrations wants and needs, gives you a new opportunity that didn’t really exist before. Conventional wisdom told businesses to keep knowledge quiet, to put ‘trade secrets’ under indefinite embargo and to let exclusive information gather dust in the archives.
But with the advent of the cloud, big data, IoT, social media, and the dispersal of knowledge in every direction, small enterprises are in the unique position to distribute the information they’ve gathered in exchange for loyal customers.
Content can be the means by which your business can shape and impacts customer segments. Armed with quality content, you too can become a thought leader, change agent, and expert in your field.
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I see content marketing impacting on almost everyone I come in contact with, even though they may not realise it. Content marketing has affected the way we all do business whether we like it or not.
Whether we like it or not we all have a simple decision to make. How will we make content marketing work for our business? I made a decision over ten years ago that the content I was developing was a strategic asset despite, many people telling me I was wasting my time and money.
I am very comfortable with producing content, in fact, I really enjoy it and content marketing now that technology has caught up to me such that it is easy to use and more affordable.
My big issue now is maintaining a position as a thought leader in my chosen fields of small-medium businesses, small-medium non-profit organisations, regional and remote communities and the advisors who support them.