Content marketing might have taken a hit when the announce from Facebook came regarding new changes to the news feed algorithm which will impact companies both small and large. Needless to say, it came as a big shock to both industry vets and newbies alike. But honestly, how could any of us missed or dismissed this happening? Facebook and the other major socials have been headed towards a pay-to-play model for over five years.
During this time, I’ve been telling my clients that something like this was inevitable and to stop building their business solely on borrowed time with companies like Facebook. I like putting all your investment dollars into 1 stock, you wouldn’t let your stock broker invest your whole nest retirement into 1 company. The volatility each day of the price swings alone would make you sick.
When you think about it, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the social media networks have to make an attempt slow down the piling up of basically duplicates spammy content that’s clogging up the users experience.
Could 2018 be the year content marketing and we as marketers finally learn our lesson on both social media and content marketing that it’s not simply about creating and spinning and regurgitating the same thing over and over again? I know that I’m guilty of this practice because we were both forced to and lazy enough to not break the cycle. Ever well intended action always seems to have a reverse action later down the road. So, again, is 2018 the year of the reckoning in which we learn that content marketing is about quality content over mass quantity is what elevates both the short and long term goals?
How did content marketing get this way?
Taking this into consideration I think we have to questions ourselves on how we got to this point that both small and large organizations with limited budgets and declining sales revenues think that by indiscriminately posting multiple times per day across multiple social networks was a good idea? Why are so many businesses spending all their time on social networks when their target consumer isn’t even hanging out on them?
Did all this start and is now from the days of blackhat SEO, Facebook algorithm changes, spammy email, unethical online marketing agencies providing bad advice or is it something less sinister in nature?
It appears that the bigger the social channels are, and the more that social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn cinch down the algorithms regarding news feed posts as well as timelines demanding even more engaging, creative and meaningful content, the more the volume is increased from brands both small and large. The more the volume gets cranked up, the more regurgitated content that gets pumped out and thrown on the social news feed walls like a 1987 stock broker picking randomly picking companies to invest your hard earned retirement fund.
This spammy content marketing strategy of yesterday is live and well in the form of live video feeds that has little direction with little to no value. It also is evident in the status updates on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Of course you can’t forget all of the wonderful graphical social media posts that are being thrown at the social walls of every social network on a consistent daily basis. Content Marketers trick themselves intobelieving that their beautiful graphical masterpieces just can’t be spam even though they reused the same piece of artwork yesterday and made a 1 pixel change in order to make it pass Google’s image checks and then spin it out 100 more times that day. Why? Simply because they are graphical pieces of artwork that must be shared everywhere.
Content Marketing Overload on Your Target Audience
Content marketing saturation is common on every social media network, communications and marketing channel. It’s so overloaded that we are just adding more of the same thing that just takes up server space and provides little to no value to the end users.
Hell, all you gotta do is pop up in the mornings, open your eyes and you’re immediately bombarded with content everywhere you look.
I can grab my iPhone and google any question I have and it’ll return relevant matches with multiple blog posts, articles and/or videos.
The big problem with all this content marketing is it’s just not the type of content we really want to consume. It’s not more live video’s of us performing stupid pet tricks that our target audience really wants, nor is it more infographics and cute inspirational quotes.
That said, it’s my opinion that your ideal customer doesn’t wake up in and think how they want to self-discover another 10 quick tips to wealth type blog posting.
Content Marketing Should Give the Customer What They Really Crave!
Which content type does your ideal customer want and need from your business? Well, it all begins with knowing who, what and where your customer is. This is typically defined as a buyer persona that we as digital marketers must define when we onboard a new client. Even when a client provides me with detailed buyer personas a previous online marketing agency did for them, I will still have my team build ours from scratch as you never know what little gem can be discovered with fresh creative minds brainstorming through this critical process
However, I can tell you that in 2018 your content marketing strategy must take an audience based approach to your content, social media marketing, pay per click advertisements as well as everything in between it.
If you do not already know your who your target audience is and deliver to them what they want and need from your brand, you’re essentially guaranteed to lose them to your competitor who is focused on their needs.
As you develop your content marketing plan for social media, digital, content marketing and branding strategy you must first focus on an audience based approach. Focus on delivering real original quality and something of value and not the same old regurgitated garbage we all are guilty of doing so we can fill our SEO keyword quota.
It’s time to get in the hearts and minds of your ideal customer. What are they thinking about? What keeps them up all night worried? What’s their pain point that we can solve? What do they want most? What do they need from you and why? How are you going to help them solve their greatest problems in the shortest amount of time? How are you going to serve them something unique that they can’t get from just any random blog post, podcast, video or email blast that’s already easily accessible by them from their smartphone device.
For those who’s job it is to develop sound content marketing strategies and whom are struggling with hitting their KPI (key performance indicator) goals and while hitting or maintaining a positive ROI (return on investment) with their online content marketing strategies, it’s probably time to restart, revamp and focus on executing outside their comfort range and that’s achievable only by thinking outside the box.
Last note, please stop naively following and taking to gospel every so called expert or guru. More than likely they haven’t even practiced what they preach because they’re spending so much time preaching it. Those of us that are doing the grunt work don’t have the damn time to build a course or do a podcast on the 7 effective ways to amplify your money while doing nothing. We don’t have the time because we exert all energy on the battlefield.