Content Marketing is all about the battle for customer attention.
As most marketers try harder and harder to interrupt their audience, smart marketers are using valuable and helpful content to attract the audience of future buyers. Because all marketing is content.
I also define content strategy and show one example of how we’re addressing this challenge at SAP with audience-focused content.
But the real challenge for many of us lies in how to sell it in. So here I will also provide 6 steps to help you sell content strategy into your organization.
Marketing Does Not Equal SPAM
Say the word “marketing” to some business professionals and they immediately think you are talking about the outbound “promotion” of marketing messages designed to get more people to buy more of your stuff for more money than they would normally be willing to spend.
They may think you are talking about subliminal ads, voodoo and other tricks, or even straight-up SPAM. I recently offered to live-blog an event and one of the organizers replied “well, as long as you don’t play any marketing tricks with the content.” What the heck does that mean?
Marketing does not equal SPAM. But the fact is that, well, most of it does.
The majority of the marketing we see as consumers and business people is promotional. It isn’t fun or funny or helpful or entertaining. It doesn’t put your needs ahead of the advertisers. The majority of marketing really stinks. And so it is up to us, to change the perception of marketing.
All Marketing Is Content
We need to market our marketing, but only if it helps someone, entertains someone, or educates someone. So first we need to change our approach and that starts by selling in the concept of content strategy.
Someone asked me recently: isn’t content marketing just another name for marketing? The answer is yes . . . and no.
No – because most marketing is dreadfully unsuccessful. Look at your own results and you’ll see the 80 / 20 rule applies where 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. And yet we continue to create marketing plans year after year that look largely the same.
We need “content marketing” to define the change that’s needed. To bridge the gap between what is and what could be. We need content strategy to help us create marketing plans that help our audience and that create value for our businesses more effectively.
The answer is yes because Content Marketing will ultimately morph into plain old marketing. Just as all marketing is digital. All marketing is becoming social. And all marketing is content.
Content Marketing: How To Sell It In
- You need to show the business that your marketing “has issues.”
- Define the business case for how tested audience-focused marketing is more effective.
- Analyze what % of your inbound traffic is late stage vs. the larger early-stage buyer
- Define what % of your leads and revenue comes from inbound sources (web, search and social)
- Determine how much money you waste on bad content, content that never gets used, events that don’t create any value
- Re-invest those funds in more engaging or more interesting content that drives inbound traffic, leads and revenue.