Content marketing is often the cornerstone of any good marketing program. It differentiates your business from the competition, can position you as a trusted information source and can feed your social media monster and public relations machine. What’s not to love? Not surprisingly, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
So let’s walk through some of the key challenges with this marketing strategy and how you can overcome the downside of content marketing.
While creating and posting content for your audience can help your brand awareness and preference, it comes at a heavy price. Research, writing, breaking up into “bite-sized” pieces for social media and public relations, designing, editing, etc. Many small businesses just don’t have the time or money to hire someone on a regular basis. Or, they don’t have the resources to also do other important marketing activities like lead generation.
Small businesses not suffering from this resource problem face yet another, bigger challenge with content marketing; quantity. The sheer volume of every company, every brand and every blogger creating their own content and pushing it out into the public forum makes it difficult for any one piece to stand out.
Indeed, a study by TrackMaven found that as companies post more content, the engagement with each piece go down, drastically reducing the ROI on content marketing. Thus the focus on “going viral”. But most videos, articles, whitepapers or tweets will not be seen by more than your core target audience, if you’re lucky.
What Can You Do?
If your small business is in this content creation conundrum, the answer may be as simple as focusing on quality vs. quantity. One good piece of content will go a lot further in you reaching your marketing goals than 10 sub-par pieces. And from that one good piece of content, you can get as much as eight other individual pieces of content, all aligned and telling the same story. Now that’s good marketing.
Determining that intersection of what you have to say and what your audience wants or needs to hear is the first step to good content marketing. Too many marketers focus on what they want to tell the world but, so what? What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) holds true, regardless of the medium.
So follow trends in your industry and in your customer’s industry. What are the big problems? What do they really need help with? By focusing squarely on your audience, you’ll find you have something quite valuable to add to the conversation about how your industry, or particular product or service can help them solve these explicit or latent problems. Then, it’s simply a matter of creating something, a whitepaper, video, blog post, newsletter, etc. to get your unique point of view into their hands.
Content marketing is valuable but it’s just one type of marketing strategy. By keeping it simple, focusing on the customer and producing good rather than many, you can overcome the downside of content marketing.