10 Things Content Marketing ISN’T

Content marketing is all the rage. It seems marketers are falling all over themselves to increase budgets, increase volume, and in many cases, decrease value.

Like any other business initiative, content marketing is a STRATEGY, not a tactic. And as such it should be planned and executed with well thought out processes and procedures.

content marketing low
photo credit: Sean MacEntee via photopin cc

While there are articles, books and a plethora of data on what content marketing IS, I’ve decided to touch on what it is NOT.

Good Content Isn’t:

  1. Too promotional – Successful marketers know good content aims to help, not sell.
  2. Public Relations – Here’s why: content marketing focuses on the consumer, not YOUR COMPANY!
  3. Expensive – Or at least it doesn’t have to be. Remember that your content marketing strategy can (and should) include:
    – Your brand
    – Your staff
    – Your physical location
    – Your customers …
    – and EVERYTHING else that surrounds your company.
    With all of those sources, it shouldn’t take moving mountains to create something good.
  4. A “Project” – Try an on-going process! It takes gobs of time to do it right, and if done correctly it’s never over. [Here’s a FREE content inventory template from MaadMob]
  5. A Solution For EVERYONE At ALL Times – Good content marketing efforts nurture prospects and leads through the entire lifecycle, and then continues to aid current customers. One piece can’t please everyone at every stage!
  6. Solely From The Marketing Department – Not only should you consider having several departments help create content, as #3 states, you can’t rule out having your customers help you create great content, too!
  7. A Blog – While your blog is one way to create content marketing, it shouldn’t be the only way your company distributes content for your would-be clients to consume. There’s also:
    – Social media
    – eBooks
    – Case studies
    – Checklists
    – Cheat sheets
    – Informational packets and brochures
    – SlideShare
    – Videos
    – Podcasts
    – eLearning
  8. One-Way Communication – It’s not enough to push your content out. To execute a content marketing strategy that sells, you’ll need to respond, comment, ask questions, and interact with the people who are consuming your pieces.
  9. Poor – The only way your content has a chance of going viral is if it’s perceived as EXTREMELY valuable. As in, you’re sharing jaw-dropping tips and tricks for your industry. Otherwise, your story about the amazing service you received at the pancake house is really just serving your need to see your name in the byline. Ahem … Get over yourself already!
  10. Difficult To Share – It seems like common sense to have sharing widgets on your content so users can easily make a couple of clicks on the mouse and share your words to the masses, but so many people miss this all-important step. And if you’re creating something like a brochure? Include the URL so you can easily be found. Example: www.facebook.com/SteamFeed

What would you add? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!


Brooke Ballard
Like many of you, Chief Digital Strategist and Founder of B Squared Media, Brooke Ballard, has seen a fundamental shift in business due to social media. How do businesses take advantage of this? Where do they start? Is social media for everyone? In-the-trenches online media experience helps B Squared Media answer these questions for companies seeking to formulate successful social strategies. Using tactics developed in her yearlong honors thesis study, Brooke helps bright and innovative entities develop social strategies around content, community, conversation, collaboration, and conversion. Simply put: Think Conversation, Not Campaign.™ Click here to subscribe to my mailing list
Brooke Ballard

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