Content is king! Brands are now publishers! Google loves content!
If you read as many marketing blogs as I do, these statements pretty much sum up every article on the topic of content marketing. To build links, brands must publish “great content”.
Unfortunately, because of this self-perpetuating advice, too many businesses and websites are churning out average content that is being lost in a sea of mediocrity.
The result is under cooked content that adds no value, and looks like a dog’s dinner.
The reality of long form content
The reality is the bar has been raised so consistently high by content generators with huge budgets and resources that an infographic here and there just doesn’t cut it anymore.
I’ve picked out some examples of content marketing that sum up the level brands need to aim for in terms of content depth and presentation. It is pretty damn high.
They have essentially become publishers…
- Moz: The beginner’s guide to SEO
- Quick Sprout: Advanced guide to content marketing
- Kissmetrics: Library of infographics
Any advice on content marketing typically uses these as examples on what you should do.
This just isn’t practical for many businesses, even large ones. The time and cost it takes to reach these levels are astronomical.
That’s why so many businesses release poorly written/designed content that don’t seem to serve any purpose (and even that can take a lot of time to create).
Go deep on an immediate problem
Rather than following the same old boiler plate advice on investing in content marketing like infographics, best practice guides, basic tools etc., the new battleground is supporting customers’ I-want-to, how-do-I, where-do-I moments.
Focus your efforts on creating content that solves an immediate problem somebody is looking for help with.
This could be a simple step by step guide or even a video on YouTube.
Because the content is focused on a very specific query, it is much easier to produce (and maintain).
Although the theoretical audience is smaller than if you produced an eBook that went viral, the chances of the content being found, used and shared is actually much higher.
If you’d like to read more about creating this type of content, have a read of my post about targeting customers’ micro-moments for some specific ideas and tips to get started.