Five Signs Your Content Marketing is an Illusion

do not look at the center...Content Marketing should provide valuable information to your market at large and to prospects at each stage of the buying process. Ideally, your content is easily discovered, naturally making you and your content a resource.

But how do people find your content? Is it through search and peer recommendations (which are increasingly connected), or will they only find it in their inbox?

Five Signs of Illusion

Here are the signs your content marketing may be an illusion, it is really just email marketing:

  • Your “best content” is content you licensed or purchased, not created.
  • You measure your content marketing success on registrations, not sharing and consumption.
  • You believe your audience won’t share content.
  • Your social media pilot is about making your email more social.
  • Email is the primary driver of content consumption.

Too many companies are stuck in this rut, and because of it, email is filled with content promotions today.

Almost invariably, it is content that I would not consider sharing and would not expect someone else to share with me. Much of it looks like a product pitch, full of promotional product-benefit language.

Almost as common is analyst content, offered by a marketer. Yes, the content might be valuable, but it doesn’t improve the position of the company offering it. That is, unless they are really an email marketer and using it to capture another email address.

Marketers that approach content marketing this way optimize promotions, not content. They realize content cannot be blamed for a lack of registrations because no one choosing to register or bail has actually seen the content. This content marketing is about promotion, not content.

Lead generation is valuable, but content marketing can deliver so much more. If you are serious about the benefits of content marketing, it may be time to reassess your activity.

Your Turn

Do I have it backwards, is content really just about the registration and email? If you do content marketing, what is your goal and how are you measuring it? Comment below or share your reaction with me on Twitter.

About Eric Wittlake

I am a digital and B2B marketer with a background in online media and analytics. I work with B2B clients on media and integrated marketing programs. You can connect with me on Twitter at @wittlake or in the comments here on my Digital B2B Marketing blog.

One Response to Five Signs Your Content Marketing is an Illusion

  1. Thanks for this. Good topic. And I am torn! I help my clients create content that helps, educate, provides valuable links for the buyer during / throughout the buy cycle. Creating content for each stage (connecting/research, serious consideration, evaluation, pilot) helps us to understand where an organization may be in the buy cycle through, of course, registration timing questions. But you’re right — many of these promotions are stuck in “email push” and quite frankly, since 2008, the buyer has become inundated. My thinking has always been to “surround the audience”, and I have deployed many multi-channel campaigns with various online and offline assets (banners, contextual links/ads, direct mail, white papers, video) — but the key regardless of channel, is to continue the dialogue, if there is a dialogue. The “one and done approach” that I am seeing today is truly a FAIL. Download content, get a phone call, a lousy phone call, then never to hear from them again. I may not be ready now, but I may be in a position to influence a buy (at my company or by referral) if you stay in touch. I can’t remember from day to day given the number of marketing / vendor messages…and so I think when marketing done well as a “programmatic” approach in identifying a prospective audience, communicating to them, and inviting them to communicate with you, is key. Above all — relevance + genuine interest. Only a few are doing it well. Best, and thanks, Denise

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