The End of Content Marketing

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At least, it is the end as we know it. The term "content marketing" was coined by Penton Custom Media in 2001. The original concept, according to Content Marketing Institute, dates back to 1732 when Benjamin Franklin first published the yearly Poor Richard’s Almanack. Author Joe Pulizzi goes on to say, "But despite the age of the technique, the power it wields hasn’t diminished at all. In fact, examples of brands using content marketing – and the impact of those efforts – have increased exponentially over the years."

More is Not Better

The increase means that your prospects are drowning in content. The onslaught starts early each day with social media updates, blog posts, whitepapers, online videos, and infographics. It's enough to make them want to turn off their phones, or at the very least, tune out your valuable digital content. Value the central issue, followed by who decides what is valuable? The ability to share via copy/paste gives you and everyone you know the ability to share everything with everybody. Content has now become a worthless commodity.  In the recent article, The Content Trap: When Content Becomes a Commodity (and Three Ways to Break Free) MarketingPros suggest a solution.

How to Break the Content Marketing Trap

It starts with basic economics. Businesses can create production efficiencies to reduce cost. They can differentiate their offering based on service delivery. They can re-engineer the commodity to add value. Efficiencies allow you to distribute more content, but buyers don't want more. My clients are finding success in differentiating by channel, including live video. Adding value is the easiest of the three. Focus your content on aligning tightly with what your buyer wants to hear from you, at the specific time they want to hear it is the key. Guide your readers to the right information that addresses their specific needs, challenges, wants, and interests. 

What's Next

Technology continues to provide tools and insight that allows you to target those you serve best. I see a shift away from mass marketing with a return to direct sales. Connecting the dots between your customers topics of interest and your expertise appears to be the shortest path to engagement. An email targeted to a handful of prospects will produce a greater impact that a generic broadcast to thousands.

Additional Resources

Ernie Smith of published more on the topic in his article WHEN YOU SHOULD BUILD YOUR CONTENT AROUND YOUR USERS’ HABITS.