More Content Marketing Isn’t Necessarily Better

When content marketing became the buzzword marketing strategy of 2013, the rush was on to create easy, consumable pieces that fit into the company’s overall promotional strategy. Now, as we turn the corner to a new year, we realize what a mistake we’ve made.

What? Isn’t Content Marketing a Worthwhile Strategy?

It is. But the problem is that people are so busy constructing content for every conceivable channel and customer profile, they’ve forgotten the original goal – engagement.

Rather than generating heaps of content, throwing it at a wall, and hoping some of it sticks with your prospects, why not spend your time and effort designing a single piece of content that can be leveraged across all major channels and that speaks to all customers at any stage in the sales process?

Sound overwhelming? It’s not as difficult as you might think. Case in point: Velocity Partners produced a B2B Marketing Manifesto that didn’t include the ordinary rehashed content. It focused on encouraging marketers to develop a world view and expose their beliefs in order to separate themselves from the competition:

B2B Manifesto cover

Velocity Partners’ B2B Marketing Manifesto

These are their core beliefs, distilled into an easy-to-follow guide that anyone serious about marketing in the B2B sphere can download, read, share, and comment on. They capitalized on the traits that all of their relationships with their customers had in common, and then used those to craft a central theme that not only hit marketing “sweet spots” but also inspired others to enter into discussions. The end result began many new conversations with the company’s ideal customers, so much so that the response was nearly overwhelming.

Now You’re Speaking My Language

One major content marketing success for Indium Corporation came from their “From One Engineer to Another” set of blogs. In these blogs, engineers discuss and share a variety of problem-solving tactics, strategies, and methods to help each other. They periodically do experiments to test their theories and report back the results on their blogs:

do you speak engineer

Do you speak Engineer?

Although the article itself may not make sense to us, the core idea is there – talk to people on their level, in a way they’re familiar with and can appreciate. Build a profile of your customers, beyond just their name and address. Find out where their social circles are and where they’re hanging out. Then meet them there rather than hoping they’ll come to you.

Being able to see which content of yours was read, shared, or commented on can give you a glimpse into where that customer is in the buying cycle. Are they simply gathering information or “just looking” at this point? Or are they comparing prices and ready to make a buying decision? It stands to reason that if they liked and shared one type of article, they’ll enjoy more of the same.

Give Your Customers the Wheel

It may sound counter-intuitive to let your customers direct your content marketing strategy, but the payoff can be incredible. One perfect example is Ford Social – a community organized around Ford fans. With initiatives including the “Fiesta Movement” and how Ford Trucks “Take Care of Business,” every aspect of the social site is designed to get people talking, further guiding the company toward the kind of content their customers want to consume:

ford social

Ford Social poses a question to its community. Their answers can be used to help build further content pillars.

Ford, in turn, accepts user-submitted stories and ideas on the site which further propel their content marketing idea machines and suggestions for future releases. Fans can even choose a badge and share their passion for Ford through social networks. One could hypothesize that a potential social gamification could be on the horizon once the community has hit critical mass.

Key Takeaways

So what can you learn from these examples? First, that more content isn’t necessarily better. Instead:

  • Funnel your efforts into creating more evergreen content that reaches customers at various stages of the buying cycle. What information could they use to make their decisions easier?
  • Go to your customers where they already congregate, whether it’s Google+, Facebook, forums, or podcasts. As you learn what content they’re consuming and sharing, you’ll be able to establish an accurate profile of what matters to those customers and determine how you can insert your own message in a way that’s relevant to them.
  • Give your customers greater control over the direction of your content marketing strategies. This isn’t a particularly bold or adventurous move, but rather one that, when you think about it, makes perfect sense. By creating a community, encouraging stories and ideas, and responding to feedback, you’re signifying that your brand is open to mutual sharing and exchange and that you’re willing to give back to the community.

Now It’s Your Turn

What are some of your favorite content marketing strategies? How are you using them to reach out to and connect with customers? Share your thoughts below!

About the Author: Sherice Jacob helps business owners improve website design and increase conversion rates through compelling copywriting, user-friendly design and smart analytics analysis. Learn more at iElectrify.com and download your free web copy tune-up and conversion checklist today!

  1. Hi Sherice,

    Your post reminds us of the need to stay focused and always be straightforward in our content marketing initiatives.

    A content marketing strategy built around engagement is sure meant to get the best from clients.

    Thank you for sharing, honestly I need to work more on this to get the best out of my blog.

  2. Looking at the traffic for some of the early content I created is just sad. And while I have found some success in recreating those older posts with fresh and much more epic content it’s much easier to just create less great content than more bad content.

  3. Hi Sherice,
    A very worthwhile read. Everyone is screaming “content is king” but not everyone knows what content they need to produce. Of course the marketing world is changing and almost all businesses need to be online, but most of them don’t have the expertise or staff to deal with it.
    Glad you shared this wisdom, as I am sure many can benefit (including me)
    thanks so much
    ashley

  4. Funny… this has been a simple fact in (good) radio advertising for three decades. With a college degree in Advertising / Copywriting and twenty years of radio experience, I went back to college and got a degree in Web Design (front and back end)… but no one will hire me because I’m over 40. It’s frustrating as hell, watching people think they’ve just discovered the wheel when older employees like myself already know how these concepts work and could make them work for any company.

  5. Having a B2C strategy is essential for anyone trying to connect with today’s consumer who is watching TV with their iPad on their lap. That is the critical moment when your content can initiate a profitable relationship.

  6. thanks for the post. i find it more interesting and infomative.http://blog.kissmetrics.com/ga-conversion-funnels-video/#comment-128537

  7. Nice read Sherice! I totally agree that while doing content marketing you should put more efforts on creating evergreen content. With Google Hummingbird update the focus has shifted more onto in-depth articles.

    Creating evergreen content however is often easier said than done. While creating this type of content quality should be your foremost priority. It should address the pain points of your audience and should educate them and engage them. By creating evergreen content, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche area.

    Also, evergreen content is timeless in nature, so plan to update it regularly over an extended period of time. The focus should be to increase engagement on your site

  8. Sherice, a great article that provides a timely reminder to those that jump on the buzzword train – remember your audience. Some of the content that has been produced by companies during 2013 has been great but it lacks context or relevance to who they actually do business with.

    Whilst the phrase ‘content is king’ has coined many a blog post, many forget about the context or relevance elements.

    We have been recently working with a few companies on content development and the first question we now ask is, “Who is your content aimed at?” and their answer gives us the starting point.

  9. I keep hoping that as I share more articles like these, reminding marketers of the importance of strategic, meaningful content, we’ll all be compelled to commit fewer random acts of content in our day-to-day work.
    ;)

  10. I couldn’t agree more with the writer after drawing some conclusions from my own business.

    I found myself starting out with content marketing since it was the buzz, having really no idea what it was about. So I just started writing … mostly low quality. I got this idea that lengthy text was the way to go. Now, all of my pages generated some traffic, even the bad ones. But after a while I started noticing that some pages performed (a lot) better than others, and it was the pages I was the most happy with.

    Additionally, I found something more interesting while examining my analytics data. Pages with really good images performed very well relative to pages with poor or no images. In other words, I learnt that images and videos were a very powerful piece in the content marketing puzzle for e-commerce.

    In my experience, in depth text works for pages where the visitor might expect in depth text. But for lots of visual niches in e-commerce, great images really is the showstopper for content marketing.

  11. content marketing is a good pick but is crucial, Every post you made must have had relevance on every links you post. The contents must relate on each other.

  12. I am completly agree with you in this context. I have just been in a hangout yesterday, future of content, and I will like to add what they comment:”that it is better to provided good content in the right moment and trough right devices”
    Thanks for this post!

  13. Nice information thanks alot

  14. Hi Sherice,
    I really do agree with you. The point is that often we produce content without having a plan or worst having a plan focused on the wrong target. For example we make content where SEO efforts always drives our choice and we miss to keep ourselves focused on people we want to engage.

  15. An excellent point. Content may be the most important thing about blogging, but still, excessive use of it will do no good to you blog. It is so much effective to write one good article than a hundred mediocre ones.

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