Have a heart for content-marketers

Now-a-days, strolling through the web’s infinite information mile is resembling more and more a content twilight zone of eagerly published posts and articles.

Marketers are agressively vying for customer attention. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be full-on awareness, just a few seconds of half-attentive content skimming would suffice. Enough to generate a click, share or like.

I consume a lot of content, from surface-skimming pseudo-knowledge to scientific academia. And as a brand strategist, my work involves sifting through a jungle of professional content flora and fauna. Sadly, I oftentimes mainly find redundant content. Redundant, because marketing does not equal good content. And maybe this is where the content limp developed: In the misconception that content strategy and content marketing are one and the same.

It crept up on us, slowly, gradually. Engineers stopped sharing their innovations with marketing departments, sales managers fled to the next client meeting and marketers were left roaming the company hallways, driven by clicks and leads and the shadow of the always-open content factory.

[Side note: Content factory is such a poorly coined term, devoid of the two most important ingredients of a sustainable content approach: the emotional bond between customer-brand and the conscious creation and curation of content.]

Here a few pointers aimed at helping our fellow marketing colleagues (and ourselves!).

Get feedback. Create an understanding what your target group wants to read. Conduct interviews and surveys or request insights from your sales team. Just because your customers loved it 12 months ago, doesn’t mean they feel the same way today.

Develop and commit to a content strategy. 60% of companies do not follow a content strategy. Which explains the current content situation. And no, achieving xy clicks per tweet is not a strategy. Put in the time and effort to develop a strategy that supports your brand strategy. Content is a brand’s voice. Use it wisely.

Understand where content is generated. Ideally, the marketing department markets the content, aka strategically distributing. Marketing can also help create content, i.e. through editorial support. But content as such comes from the entire organisation (engineering, PR, sales, customer support, R&D). Involve the right people, watch your content mature and your customers (aka readers) hit the subscribe button.

This is just a start, albeit a simple one. But with so many organisations lost in their tight goals and reactionary strategies, it helps to be reminded to keep it simple, collaborative and focused.

May our twitter, linkedin, xing and RSS streams be blessed with more quality and less redundancy.

Yours truly, content-starved while over-satiated

Feel free to share if you too have a heart for marketers and yearn for the return of sensational, informative, educational and purposeful content.