At this point, it’s pretty difficult to ignore content marketing if you’re in the marketing industry. Yet I still run into companies that either don’t understand it or otherwise don’t want to think about content marketing, for all kinds of reasons.
1. It’s a fad, a trend. It will go away.
Content marketing isn’t really a new thing – in technology marketing, for example, we’ve been practicing some form of content marketing for many years. We participate in panels and forums, sharing our expertise. We educate our customers and prospects about the industry in general, not just our own products. What is new is the focus and discipline around generating content as part of the overall marketing strategy.
Joe Pulizzi wrote a great rebuttal of the idea of content marketing as a fad in his recent post “5 Reasons Content Marketing is No Buzzword.”
2. It’s no big deal, I can hire it out for a few bucks a month.
I spoke to someone recently that had hired a company to create articles for them for $50 per month. This was a technology company making a complex sale. They provided only a list of keywords, but then were disappointed by the poor quality of the articles they got back. That is not the way to do content marketing.
Yes, you can hire people to develop content. You can hire people to help you create and implement a content marketing strategy. But the concept of content marketing should be ingrained in your business – part of your marketing DNA, and preferably part of your company culture. For example, have different employees contribute to the blog. Take videos of presentations and post them online. Everyone should be looking for ways to create and share meaningful content that helps people help themselves through the sales cycle.
3. It’s too expensive.
This is the counterpart to the excuse above – you don’t have the time or money to do content marketing.
It’s true that content marketing requires an investment of time and/or money. But content marketing may be one of the best marketing investments you can make. For example, it’s the great equalizer for smaller businesses. Large companies have the budget to buy television time and print ads – but any size company can create and share content that builds trust and visibility in their industry.
Ardath Albee wrote a post on this topic recently: Put cost-effectiveness in content marketing. She points out that good content has legs – you can spin it off across different channels, and it often has a long shelf life.
To Ardath’s argument, I’d add this: you can incrementally add content marketing to your marketing mix. You’re probably already creating targeting marketing content today: white papers, webinars, customers stories. Repurpose that content. Look at how that content maps to your prospects’ needs, and what you’re missing. Work with partners or others to augment what you’re doing. Build out your content marketing strategy as you go.