Content marketing is many, many things. It’s thousands and thousands of words – millions, even, piled onto hundreds of blogs and websites all vying for the Internet’s most precious commodity: the attention of actionable customers.
If that’s what you’re after – and it’s what you should be after – then content marketing is something you’ve probably invested a lot of time, effort and money into. But the question is, is it working for you? And if not, then why?
Getting content marketing right is hard to do. While the data and metrics are there for you to see when you’re being successful, it’s harder to tell what the actual difference is between being successful and mediocre with content marketing. Is it the quality of the content? The frequency? The design? The timing? The subjects at hand? Is it the momentary psychology of the public? As Mark Schaefer argues, there’s too much content – he says, there’s so much that content marketing itself isn’t a sustainable model for marketing. But that isn’t necessarily true. Content just needs to be looked at in a new light.
Content is Not a Metric
This is the hard part to grasp. Content is, for the most part, difficult to mathematically pin-point. That’s because unlike a commodity or a metric, content is art. Whether it’s video, audio or written, content is what directs and informs people, and it’s the very same thing that’s been keeping artists awake and alive and questioning and dreaming. Respecting content is the first step to getting it done right; respecting content and the people who will read it is the first step to getting away from the average marketer’s mentality. Onto the next part:
Content Needs to Attract Readership
When it comes to content marketing, what you want is continuity, not interest. You want a voice, not sound bites. You want subscribers and a readership, not potential customers who fall into the model of the sales funnel. After all, according to Digital Tonto, the sales funnel has been made largely irrelevant. Instead, there’s an interest in creating a sales continuum – that is, building content that doesn’t just market a product, but that promotes loyalty in a certain brand and idea.
So, to further iterate:
Content Needs To Define Your Business
You need a business identity, and a business mission. Whatever you’re selling, it needs to help people somehow – and your content needs to be a constant informative voice that dedicates itself to propagating that mission and promoting consumer advocacy – getting people involved with what you’re trying to accomplish, and proving that your brand does make a difference. As Forbes states: brands need to think like publishers.
If you’re a marketing company, then perhaps your mission is to inform small businesses of the new paradigm shift in marketing, getting them on-board to building a loyal customer base, and advocating customer care-centered marketing campaigns.
The key behind content today is that it shouldn’t just create awareness and build leads. To lead to sales, you want content that entertains people and attaches them to your brand. As a good SEO company in Los Angeles like SeoTuners would tell you, content and engagement aren’t linear anymore – it’s about keeping the conversation going.