5 Reasons Content Marketing is not Dead in 2018
As Mark Twain wrote in his reply to an inquiry about his health, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” Content marketing isn’t dead, but poor content is dead and mediocre content is dying. It’s not longer enough to publish just anything, the content produced should be high quality. Once just having a new article up was enough to drive traffic to your site, That’s just not the case anymore. Here are the characteristics that will keep your content relevant and marketable as the dregs sink to the bottom.
Focus on your audience, not on yourself. Content that talks strictly about your company or product without addressing how that benefits the reader will fail. People want to know things that are of interest to them, that are focused on them, not whatever marketing items you are ready to push at them. Keep asking what your audience wants to know and you will be on the right track to deliver content that matters to them.
Once you do this, people will come to read your articles and share them with others interested in reading material focused on them rather than what’s for sale today. When they know you are working to provide for them, they will be willing to use your site to purchase from you.
While keeping the audience's desires in mind is important, your content shouldn’t just pander to their wants. You need to provide value with your content. Write articles that help people solve problems or make decisions. Give information that is helpful and educational. While people want what they want, they value what helps them. Do you remember the latest flashy bit of technology written up by the manufacturer? Was it because it was new, or because it did something that helped you solve a problem or perform a task?
We want the newest phone because it’s pretty and stylish, but we are willing to pay for it because it works better than the one we have. Emphasize value in your content and people will remember you and return to see what else you have to say.
The time has passed where anything new on the internet was wonderful simply because it was new. Estimates are that 300 hours of video are uploaded to Youtube every minute. There is plenty of new content out there. What you must strive for is excellence. A better article will attract more readers than a bad or mediocre one. But to really pull in a wide audience your work must be of the highest quality.
Yes, this doesn’t always follow (insert your least favorite bad movie that made a huge amount of money here), but in general quality draws attention. Keep your standards high and your content will get viewed.
Marketing is about convincing people to take an action you want them to take. That can be buying your product or hiring you to perform a service, but whatever outcome you want is the end goal of marketing. People know that and marketing and advertising has gotten a bad name from some of the tactics used to force those decisions to take action.
Fear, greed, and envy have all been used to convince people to purchase products or buy services. With this history, content marketing needs to develop trust. If your audience trusts you, or your representatives, they are more likely to listen to your call to action. Establishing trust is difficult, but companies that do can be wildly successful. Remember to emphasize honesty in your content and your audience will come to trust you.
‘Fake’ has become a near-universal put down. Fake news is hated by everyone (even if they can’t agree which news is fake and which isn’t). People who are ‘fake’ are avoided. Forgeries and counterfeits are fakes. Many industries even have special terms for fakes such as Vaporware or Phishing emails. If your content is labeled ‘fake’ it can be the kiss of death. People crave sources that are trustworthy, authentic, real. Make sure your content meets this test. Becoming the go to source for information, the ‘real deal’, will bring your audience back to you over and over, while drawing in new people to join them.
Make sure your content is well researched, authoritative, and authentic. If you talk about finance, talk with genuine financial experts, or have one create that content. An interview with a well-known figure in a field is worth much more than a staff writer reading up on the subject on Wikipedia. Strive to be authentic and avoid the ‘fake’.
To quote the phrase Mark Twain popularized, “There are three kinds of lie: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” But statistics can be useful. Here’s one that says more than 85% of marketers are using content marketing and more are planning to. But the important one is behind that. Over 70% of those marketers said they can show that content marketing has increased their audience engagement. They even have metrics to back it up!
If content marketing is dead, a lot of people are still using it successfully to increase their business. That’s good evidence the news of its death was an exaggeration. Just be sure to keep it healthy by following the guidelines for success in today’s marketplace. Don’t be surprised if you use strategies from years in the past that they aren’t working anymore. Focus on your audience, provide value to them, earn their trust, create excellent content, and be authentic. That’s what’s needed to keep alive today.
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