Last week, Mike Templeman, a contributor to Forbes Magazine, boldly claimed that “content marketing doesn’t work.” Templeman, a content writer himself, contends that most brands are doing it wrong, either by utilizing outdated creation and promotion strategies or simply having misguided expectations.
There may be some truth behind this statement given that many companies view content as a necessity but not always a priority. We live in a world that is connected to data all day; whether online, on our phones, our tablets and even TV. This new age of information can be as instructive as it can be overwhelming for consumers.
Yet, content marketing is a booming business, trailing only social media as the most sought-after channel for marketers. Templeman believes the problem lies in our understanding of what content entails. Is it simply a tool to promote and engage customers? Templeman states that “[to] be successful, (there must be) a long-term commitment and high quality content,” which in turn requires time and effort.
The key to developing successful content marketing is to realize that SEOs and PPCs are irrelevant if you’re not also reaching consumers on an emotional level. Part of the problem is that oftentimes, content marketers forget to be humble and the story becomes about them rather than the product. Yes, it’s important to be creative and entertaining, but don’t let your comedic talents overtake your mission: to make your customer’s brand feel essential. If not, you’re simply marketing a product as a disposable item rather than an asset.
The best way to create convincing content is to make it a group effort. Any good writer always has a strong editor behind them. Also by broadening your outlook, you can add a fresh perspective to your writing. Content marketing is also about timing. Right now, we are being inundated by “Back To School” products and those will soon be followed by an avalanche of Hallowing, Thanksgiving and Christmas promotions.
Try to manage to filter your content in moderation so it doesn’t seem like you’re out to make a quick buck. An overload of Christmas content in November can seem desperate and reflect negatively on your brand. Therefore, establish a well-organized calendar that allows you strategize you marketing efforts.
Lastly, tell compelling stories. At times, industry pieces convey more interesting information that sales-driven materials. Your content should be about attracting people not only to your brand but also to your point of view.
Mark A. Lugris originally wanted to be a photographer and was even accepted into UConn’s Fine Arts program, but after realizing that writing was where his heart lay, he packed up his Pentax and opted to major in English and Creative Writing. A life-long pop culture junkie, Mark is quick to quote everything from “Seinfeld” to “The Sopranos.” He also has a fascination with mid-century design, which he explores in his blog. After newspaper stints in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Mark headed overseas, where he lived in Spain and Switzerland for 14 years. Honing his writing skills at PopGuide, a travel and lifestyle magazine in English and German he founded, and as a PR/Communications Manager at Swarovski, Mark returned stateside after realizing he could no longer live without New Haven-style pizza. Follow him @Mark_Lugris