In just over half a second – 0.53 seconds to be exact – marketers can have over 657M content marketing resources at their fingertips.
TL;DR: We’re drowning in content and by default we’re quickly drowning in content marketing. The more content marketing we get, the less effective it becomes.
The most interesting aspect of this trend is that, for the most part, it is self-inflicted and easily solved.
Right now, it’s too easy to badge third-party content or post links to content you like that you feel reinforce your brand (or better said, attempt to reinforce your brand). These two methods of content marketing are easy to execute. They can scale incredibly quickly and are very low cost. The underlying problem is that these two methods place the focus on quantity to get through the clutter – frequently avoiding quality at any and all costs. Quality takes time and costs more.
Yet, if you ask enterprise sales teams what their most successful sales tools are they’ll tell you (more often than not) that reference customers are the key. They’ll tell you it’s the ability for an existing customer’s experience to be translated to a prospect that matters. They’ll tell you it’s the ability to establish a level of comfort and familiarity while enabling the early stages of trust to be built that are critical to success.
Translation: It’s about depth. It’s not about volume.
If this is the case, why then do we continue to see such an incredible volume of badged and curated content v. original content – even in the enterprise sales arena? Volume is easy and it’s incredibly deceiving, especially when it’s easily attached to impressions (the appearance of progress) which are not tied all the way through to prospect engagement or more meaningful ROI metrics.
Quality takes time and costs more … but it also provides the depth and differentiation necessary to properly tell your story and add value to your market.
Leverage the power of your organization’s passion to tell their stories. These stories exist – they simply haven’t been asked for in a direct fashion. Engage the passion of your customers and help them tell their stories. They’ll welcome the opportunity and the assistance.
So now what happens:
- The amount of work marketers have to do will increase (which is why we don’t see this happen that often)
- The volume of your content marketing will go down. Don’t panic. This is a good thing because the declining volume is predominantly noise.
- The quality of your content marketing, and the associated ROI, will go up. This is the most valuable asset you can create.
It’s almost a slow marketing approach … but that’s an entirely different post for another day.