Everywhere I go, I find marketers who are challenged with creating more content. More blog posts, more eBooks, more videos, more podcasts… more, more, more. Even our latest content marketing research found that the number one challenge for business marketers is producing enough content.
I’m done with more.
Here’s a little state of the industry that I’ve noticed:
- There are hundreds of marketing gurus out there who will tell you that more is better.
- Brands and publishers alike are setting up massive newsrooms to newsjack every possible opportunity.
- Keyword phrases are being locked and loaded, as we speak, into thousands of content marketing programs around the world — curated content and original content alike.
- Organizations of all sizes are figuring out how much content they can get out of every contractor they work with, and how to get that investment down to as little per hour as possible.
Now, I’m not saying that any of this is wrong; but it’s definitely not better.
There was a time for more
“Ecclesiastes assures us… that there is a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to laugh… and a time to weep. A time to mourn… and there is a time to dance. And there was a time for this law, but not anymore.” — Kevin Bacon (Ren) in “Footloose” (1984)
Going back almost a decade ago, I believed more was better — more of any and all types of content helps us market all types of things (as long as it’s good content, right?).
Good sites like Mashable and Huffington Post came along and started to show us what amazing traction we could get with more. More content would get more play on Reddit and Digg, and then Facebook and Twitter. Inevitably, this led to thoughts like, “Hey, we need to target these 150 keywords. We need more content.”
And then media companies like Forbes added a million [exaggeration] contributors, and started to create more content and cover more niche areas.
More eBooks for SlideShare. More videos for YouTube. More content for syndication. More blog posts for Buffer to buffer… and on and on.
There was a time for more, but that time has passed.
Epic content marketing
My upcoming book, out in September, is called “Epic Content Marketing.” I have one goal for the book: to say something worth saying.
There are many definitions of the word epic. According to dictionary.com, the sixth definition given for epic is “of heroic or impressive proportions; an epic voyage.” This is the one I’m focusing on for my book.
In North America, nine in 10 businesses (of any size in any industry) use content marketing. Content marketing is not new, but it is getting cluttered; contaminated, if you will.
How do we break through this clutter? We need to be epic with our content marketing. We need to do it better.
What do I think of when I think of truly epic content marketing? I think of Marcus Sheridan and his blog posts — when I read them, I can tell that he spent way more time than any average human would take to make what he was saying worth saying.
I think of IBM and its amazing research reports, which are always helpful. The company never, ever takes shortcuts with its research.
I think of thinkMoney magazine from Ameritrade. Heck, I’m not even a trader and I enjoy this publication immensely.
The next phase of content marketing
Think about your current content marketing program. Now read the questions below:
- Do you have a documented content strategy as part of your marketing program, or are you just filling channels with content?
- Is the content you are distributing truly best of breed — meaning that it’s as good or better than anything else available?
- Are you really making an impact on your customer’s lives or careers with the information you provide to them?
- Are you in the game just to sell more, or are you in it to make a difference?
- Are you setting up your content marketing department around more or around best?
How do you know if your content is truly epic?
Here is one easy litmus test: Are you seeing behaviors change?
Are customers sharing your content? Are members of your customers’ networks sharing your content? Is your content a central part of conversations on the web? Are prospects signing up to receive your content on an ongoing basis? If you don’t deliver your content at the regularly scheduled time, are customers calling you to find out where it is? Are influencers creating new content from your old content?
If the answers to all of these questions are “yes,” then your content is worth saying. Your content is epic.
This responsibility falls on every one of us. It is on us to change our wicked ways and stop the contamination that comes from the endless, and misguided, quest for more.
(Okay… getting down from my soapbox now. Thank you for listening!)
Looking for tips on better content creation (rather than just “more” content creation)? Register to attend Content Marketing World Sydney, in Sydney, Australia on March 4–6.