Is content marketing dead? Not really, but you need to get it right

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content marketing
The story behind content marketing is now less generating content, than generating content with insight (and sometimes controversy)
content marketing
The story behind content marketing is now less generating content, than generating content with insight (and sometimes controversy)

Mark Mitchell in a recent blog posting deliberately used a provocative heading: Content Marketing Is Dead in Building Materials.

You needed to read to the end of the post to realize he was pulling your strings with a deliberately provocative headline. The issue isn’t whether content marketing is dead — it is the quality of the content you publish.

He quotes David Baker at Recourses.com:

The World is Overrun with Content. We Need Less Content and More Insight. Here’s the Difference:

  • When I read content, I move on and forget it. When I read insight, I can’t leave without agreeing or disagreeing. It forces a divide in the audience. They know what you believe and they think you’re misguided or insightful. There’s no middle ground. When I forward insight to someone, I’ll accompany it with a note about how good it is or how bad it is. When I forward content…oh, wait, I don’t!
  • About one-half of your companies people can write content but only about one-fourth (or less) can write insight. Insightful authors have a broader experience, they make value judgments, and they aren’t afraid of offending someone for the right reasons.
  • When I hit “send” for content, I’m worried about typos. When I hit “send” for insight, I’m worried about how it will be received. If I’m not nervous about the reception for what I’m writing, then it’s not insight. It’s helpful content instead.
  • Wikipedia is content. The WSJ or NYT is insight.

Publishing insight will hasten a clarified audience. Those who wouldn’t buy your product anyway disagree and go away. Those who might be open to your insight will respect you even more.

There’s more content pollution than environmental pollution in some parts of the world, and I hope we’re doing our part in making the world of insight a better place.

In essence, just blowing your own horn won’t work any more. And filling your space with puffy material that anyone can find anywhere will provide little effect. You need to get out beyond the “nice to do” to share some real meaning and even controversy. Not everyone will like you, but the goal is to attract the people who love you to become your clients.

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