The Internet is drowning in a sea of content – and the main culprit has to be so-called ‘content marketing’…
The first-fruits of this come-lately type of marketing are supposed to be enhanced SEO/SERPs results; establishing yourself as an ‘expert’ in your field; and providing visitors to your website with the type of useful information that will encourage them to re-visit the site and/or share the content on social media.
No-one could argue that these are laudable aims with tangible benefits. Everyone gains and this kind of activity earns valuable SEO brownie points from the search engines, whilst also validating their raison d’etre.
One of the major problems with content marketing, however, is that an ‘average’ company will run out of the content that meets Google’s criteria for original, useful material in a relatively short space of time.
Creating quality content – regularly!
To produce content on a regular basis, so many companies are forced into dredging up sub-standard material from within their own industry or re-cycling material that’s already in the public domain. The net effect of this is the deluge of ‘me-too’ stuff that no-one really wants to read.
It helps of course if you have a copywriter or marketing agency to come up with new and useful content, but you may well be left wondering about how many ways there are to skin a cat.
For companies who may not want to invest in professional content creators, and for those who are sceptical about the ROI for these activities, there is always the DIY route.
As everyone knows, ‘content’ is all around us – potentially… and if we have the will and the means to capitalise on these opportunities. Regular brainstorming sessions with colleagues (or your own external agency or supplier of words and ideas) is always a good starting point.
Drilling down into the minutiae of the services you offer and what you do on a daily basis will surely provide enough information for anyone’s editorial calendar!
And then there’s the more opportunistic avenue – or what professional writers call their ‘swipe file’ – where current trends and attitudes can be kept in a ‘virtual’ (or real) file in readiness for the day when your ideas can hatch into a fully-fledged piece of chirpy content.
Invest your time in ‘quality’
It’s important to bear in mind that ‘quality’ should be your over-riding concern here. ‘Originality’ comes a pretty close second. Without either of these, your content will fall flat with both readers and robots.
For those content marketers who cannot consistently achieve this state of transcendental online success, it’s probably wise to have a ‘belt and braces’ policy in place. In other words, you should have a complementary offline policy as an essential part of your marketing mix.
With so much information competing for our attention – and, ultimately, our disposable cash – the lure of buying direct from ‘interruption’ marketers is becoming increasingly part of the ‘background noise’ in our lives (especially with the advent of comparison websites, online reviews and so on).
Content marketing chips away at the defences consumers erect against temptation, impulse buying or simply having a weak moment. It also builds awareness and confidence in a brand.
There’s nothing new about this. PR people in particular have relied on repetition and educating the prospect since Adam was a lad. In today’s market, the challenge remains of how to create your best original content, week in and week out.
For most businesses, profit is a function of time. Given that creating quality content is a massively time-consuming endeavour, it’s vital to approach its implementation in a planned, strategic way.
About the Author
Mike Beeson is a highly experienced UK journalist, copywriter and PR consultant. Mike’s company, Buzzwords Limited, was established over 20 years ago and is located near the city of Manchester.