Content marketing should never be content for content’s sake

I get the impression I’ll be sick of the word content by the end of this post, but this is a point I am determined to make. As a professional with a very practical approach to marketing I am often left bewildered by the content marketing output of so many companies.

Content marketing has very quickly risen to the top of many marketing department’s to do list as a standalone tactic i.e. creating a one-off piece of content. This is a huge mistake, and a lot of companies will be left scratching their head why it doesn’t seem to be working for them.

The most common mistakes I see are companies creating content marketing that is:

  • About a topic not related to their field
  • Poorly designed
  • Not adding any value for the reader
  • Unoriginal and has been done many times before
  • Superficial with no substance

The task of creating content for marketing purposes can easily fall in to the trap of becoming a paper exercise to tick some boxes, because that is what seems to be in fashion right now.

The first step to creating great content marketing is for it to come from a place of truth. That sounds pretty grandiose, but by that I mean it makes sense your company is creating it. The other characteristics of great content marketing are pretty much the opposite of the list above. These being:

  • Looks great
  • Adds value for the reader
  • Original and has not been done many times before
  • Has substance

Content marketing also has to be part of a story you want to tell. Ad-hoc, standalone content marketing is rarely successful, but those that help to tell a bigger picture are far more often picked up by the target audience.

Build content marketing in to your marketing strategy. Content marketing itself is not a strategy, it is a tactic to help achieve a bigger goal.


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