Content marketing might have taken a hit when Facebook recently announced some major changes coming to their 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.
It should be no shock to anyone that the social networks have no choice but to attempt to at least slow down the mounds of content marketing overload and spam that is ruining the end user 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 over quantity is what wins not only in the short term but also the long term?
How did content marketing get this way?
How did we get to this place that small businesses and even large organizations with limited budgets and declining sales believe that they need to post 10 – 25 times a day across multiple social networks? Why do they spend time on social networks where their target customer isn’t even hanging out on?
Was it created from the days of blackhat SEO, Facebook algorithm changes, email spam, unethical marketing agencies dealing bad advice or something less sinister sounding?
It seems the bigger the social channels are, and the more that social networks like Facebook and Pinterest cinch down the algorithm for news feeds and timelines demanding more engaging, interesting and meaningful content, the higher the volume is turned up from brands of all sizes. The louder it gets, the more junk content that gets pushed out and splattered on the social walls like mush content spaghetti.
This spammy content marketing strategy now appears in the form of live video that has little direction with little value. It also shows up in 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 daily basis. Content Marketers think and make themselves believe “well, these beautiful graphics can’t be spam even though I used the same graphic yesterday and made a 1 pixel change in order to pass it by Google’s image checks and then spin it out ten more times a day… because they are graphical pieces of artwork.”
Content Marketing Overload on Your Target Audience
Content marketing overload is happening on every social network, communications and marketing channel.
Heck, all we have to do is wake up every morning, open our eyes and we practically see and hear content. I can lay in bed and yell out to my “Alexa” for just about anything I need.
I can grab my iPhone and ask Siri any question I have and within seconds she’ll show me 3-10 blog posts, articles or videos answering my exact question.
The problem with content marketing is it’s just not content people really want. It’s not more live ramblings in video’s that our target audience and customers want, nor is it more graphics and cute quotes.
Here”s what I believe, your perfect customer doesn’t wake up in and think how they want to find another 10 quick tips to success type blog posting.
Content Marketing Should Give the Customer What They Really Want!
So what type of content does your perfect customer need from you? Well, it all begins with knowing who, what and where your customer is. This is typically defined as a buyer persona that we as marketers should be doing each and every time we take on a new client.
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.
As you develop your content marketing plan for social media, digital, content marketing and branding strategy you must focus on an audience based approach. Focus on delivering real quality and something of value and not the same ole regurgitated garbage we all are guilty of doing.
It’s time to get in the head of your customer. What do they think. What do they want? What do they need from you and why? How are you going to help them solve their greatest problems? How are you going to serve them something unique that they can’t get from every blog post, podcast, video or email blast already 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 do so with a positive ROI (return on investment) with your online content marketing strategies, it’s probably time to restart and focus on doing what’s uncomfortable and that’s thinking outside the box.
Furthermore, stop blindly believing every so called expert or guru. More than likely they haven’t ever practiced what they preach because they’re spending so much time preaching it.