A few months back, I created my definition of content marketing. I thought it was clearer than other definitions. I thought it was simpler. I even thought it tasted better.
Then I realized I was wrong. Not everything that tastes good is good for you.
Here’s the definition:
Content marketing is creating or curating valuable information or entertainment products and distributing them, at no or low cost, with the goal of getting people to know, like, and trust you/your brand so that they ultimately become customers.
Where the definition was right
Do you see what’s wrong with it? Do you see what’s right with it? I’ll start with the second so I don’t hurt my feelings too much.
Content marketing is a business idea. It must “ultimately” lead to a business goal. It could be a sale or a social follow or a newsletter subscriber.
It is marketing so there shouldn’t be a barrier. Hence, the “no or low cost” statement.
This is all done through the distribution of information and/or entertainment products. Everything is right so far.
Where the definition was wrong
All that’s left is “creating or curating”. And that’s where I was wrong.
It’s content marketing. The biggest problem I see (myself included) is that we get so wrapped up in making and finding content that we don’t promote it properly – or at all.
Social Triggers is a very successful marketing site built by Derek Halpern. His position on internet marketing is “create less and promote more”.
Gary Vaynerchuk, another brilliant internet marketer, has said time and time again that it’s all about distribution. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45w5k_MRawU)
I’m not saying you can stop making content. You still need something to promote.
I’m saying that you should wring every drop of value out of your content before you worry about making more content. I’m saying that if your promotions have netted you 133 views to a piece of content, there are still over 3 billion internet users who haven’t seen it. (http://www.internetlivestats.com/internet-users/) It’s still new to them.
Keys to success
1. Tomatoes are fruits but they don’t go in fruit salad. Understand what content marketing really is.
Content marketing is the distribution of valuable information or entertainment products, at no or low cost, with the goal of getting people to know, like, and trust you/your brand so that they ultimately become customers.
Content marketing is a business strategy. Creating content and putting it on the internet to be ignored is a silly hobby.
2. Understand what part of your process isn’t working.
- Are you unwilling to promote your content?
Then either make better content or lower your standards. (There’s a good chance that your standards are too high.)
- Does it take too long to make the content?
Stop creating and start documenting. I’ve been promoting this idea for ages, but Gary V made it pithy.
- Are your promotion tactics not working?
Why aren’t they working?
- Is it the promotion frequency?
- Is it where you’re doing promotions?
- Is it the people you’re promoting it to?
- Is it the quality of your promotions?
- Is it the channel you’re using?
Find your problem and fix that. Don’t assume you need more content.
Easier said than done, right?
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