Content marketing is quite the trend. Search and you will find content marketing jobs, content marketing agencies, content marketing strategy advice, content marketing tools. There’s also a Content Marketing Institute.
The truth is, content marketing has been around for ages. It’s nothing new, it’s just been boxed-up nicely and given a great big shiny new platform (there are many other examples of this I could give you in marketing).
Is traditional marketing dead?
Apparently, we as consumers have turned off from traditional marketing according to the Content Marketing Institute. Well, that's worrisome and confusing for me and many others who have jobs that don’t rely solely on content marketing to put food on the table.
Content marketing is the new way to engage, we’re told.
Although I’m strongly against the aforementioned ignorant sweeping statement, I’m not against the principals of content marketing at all. But I do object to two things:1) That this is an entirely new concept and 2) The lengthy, all-consuming process of content marketing as described (no surprise in great detail) by many content marketers.
Let's not overcomplicate it - it's good old marketing principles after all.
Content marketing for me is about a sound understanding the consumer and then creating content (words, pictures, videos etc.) which is relevant based on this understanding. Sounds familiar - isn't that a basic concept of all marketing? (yes).
It does niggle me when some content marketers suggest you need a strategy which involves writing the equivalent of 10 dissertations before you can think about approaching your audience with a 1001 step plan, including every possible customer journey they might take.
I am a 'do things right or not at all' person but I also like to get on with things and believe in getting out there and testing things out on the real world before I waste time on lots of theory.
Don't let it become a barrier to selling.
Content marketing strategy, as outlined by many who boast the superior benefits of its extensive practice, is all great in theory, but in reality it means opening yourself up to such a vast task of understanding every single tiny detail of consumers and creating such a huge catalogue of marketing collateral to use across numerous platforms, that’s it’s difficult to see how you’re supposed to actually get round to selling something!
By the time you have developed every single piece of perfectly composed content marketing to seed through just the right channels, somebody else has created a quick and dirty ad that, yes, has 'wastage' in terms of the audience reached Vs audience ‘engaged’ but has a far quicker execution and has actually achieved results.
Marketing content has been created into some sort of magical mountain that actually, is incredibly hard to climb with textbook execution.
I do believe in content marketing. I'm just saying, get some perspective and balance - and get on with talking to your audience so you can sell your product / service.