Recently Entrepreneur Magazine wrote an interesting article about the failure of content marketing. In a nutshell, they suggested that content marketers have a long haul from blog post to sale. Entrepreneur suggested content value, professional help and measured analytics can greatly help with content strategy, and who am I to argue? However, I will have to disagree that the focus should be solely on content marketing.
Less recently social marketers had to deal with an ice storm of gloom and doom in the form of Mark Schaefer’s content shock blog post. The idea is that everyone will create so much content that eventually (pick your timeline) creating content will be pointless for anyone but the biggest competitors. There was a lot of backlash to this idea, and multiple arguments against the concept. Change can be difficult, even for people in this field.
What is most enlightening was Schaefer’s response to the arguments against content shock. When addressing that “great content will always rise to the top,” he pointed out that content has a long way to go before it even reaches the eyes of potential customers. Search optimization, Schaefer argues, is as much of a factor of content strategy as content meaning is.
Refocusing Your Strategy
The only constant is that everything eventually changes, and that is doubly true in the field of online marketing. Take a look at SEO. I remember the days when guest blogging was the new silver bullet. How things have changed. Things can also be cyclical, though. I believe that marketers have championed content marketing as yet another cure-all, and now they’re surprised when it’s losing its edge.
So if content marketing isn’t the answer, what will we turn to next? If content is going to reach a high water mark, how can we continue to remain effective? I believe the answer relies on diversifying.
Basic Search is beyond important in a future world where everyone is producing far too much content. It may seem like a simple suggestion, but in a world where SEO has taken a backseat to social, marketers have gotten sloppy when it comes to keyword optimization. Far smarter people than me have written really great articles about using Google’s Keyword Planner, so I’m just going to point you their way. I would also suggest you spend some time with your meta tags. It’s an easy search feature that many marketers overlook.
Video Marketing is about to explode. Forget that, it already has exploded for the big guys. While everyone cannot create amazing written content, almost anyone can try. It takes a bit more work and thought to put together a piece of video content. And while you’re at it, I would suggest looking into podcasts and video blogs as well.
Marketing automation has grown from an emailing tool into an end to end process for sales departments. Perhaps you cannot snag every potential customers with your blog, but you can track their interests through other channels. If content marketing is going to be the silver bullet of the past, marketing automation will be the wave of the future.
What have you done to alter your marketing strategy in a post-content shock world? Have you expanded your marketing grip or re-doubled your efforts on fantastic content? I would love to hear your thoughts below or on Twitter.