Is content marketing a waste of time?
Is blogging completely pointless?
You may be asking: “How is a content marketing expert even asking these questions?”
In my experience, content marketing is only as valuable as the strategy and plan you have regarding what to do with the content. I find these two things often do not co-exist.
I have a few theories as to why:
- Businesses prioritize tactics over strategy: i.e. blogging
- Sales and marketing are competing, not collaborating
Hurry,Write a Blog Now!
Nearly 2 billion websites have published 600 million blogs since the concept was invented on August 23, 1999. It takes, on average, 3 hours and 16 minutes to write one blog. That’s about 416 trips to Mars from Earth and there have only ever been 56 Mars missions in total, 46% of which have been successful.
My guess is that the percentage of success is the same for blogs published. There’s been a blogging factory out there producing content just to produce content… but what is the level of success that content actually brings these bloggers? Are the right people finding the blog, reading it and wanting to learn more about the company that posted it?
Having online influence is important, but a blog could go viral for reasons that are intended or reasons that are not. Like everything, things become oversaturated and you don’t want your brand getting watered down and undervalued. When this happens, meaning and relevance is lost and your likelihood for success gets lower and lower.
So in the case of blogging, if your intention is to improve traffic to your website, what is the order in which you’re trying to achieve this? Are you blogging just to blog with an opinion? Do you just want anyone and everyone to show up on your website so you have high traffic numbers this month?
A good content marketer isn’t just writing content that sounds good, they’re doing their research on why they should be writing anything at all. The best content marketers are talking to current customers, looking at competitors’ SEO and content and talking to all of the subject matter experts at the company. You should be looking at the words you want to align to for share of voice. You should be writing with intention. There are 31 million bloggers posting at least one blog per month. Content strategy isn’t about writing content…. It’s about whether the right people are finding it valuable.
Sales Vs. Marketing: FIGHT!
For a business to achieve their revenue goal (unless they’re just getting lucky), sales and marketing should be completely aligned. However, in my experience and in the experience of those in my sales and marketing network, this is rarely achieved. I truly think this is to the fault of both marketing and sales. Both teams need empathy and an open mind to truly collaborate and achieve great things together.
I find it’s often a competition and not an alliance. In fact, quite often sales and marketing are working behind each other’s back with the idea that they’re going to prove the other right or wrong. Don’t get me wrong, though, the different personalities of sales and marketing should inspire healthy conflict.
The personalities that are often attracted to these roles are often so vastly different, they end up speaking different languages instead of sitting down at the same table to understand one another.
Effective content marketing starts with the sales goals and strategy in mind.
Who are you trying to sell to and why are you trying to sell to them?
Why does this audience care about your product or solution and what big problems will your product or solution be solving for this audience? Is it seasonal?
What’s the peak season and how much time do you have to plan for it?
Where is your audience going to read about solving the problems you solve?
Where is your audience when they aren’t reading about something relevant to your business?
All of these questions are just the tip of the iceberg on the questions you should be asking before you just start writing content just to write it. The answers to these questions will help you determine what, when and where you write or publish the content.
Don’t let content marketing, whether it’s a blog, a white paper, an article or an email, be a waste of time. Focus on the marketing and sales strategies first and work backwards from there to determine what and when to write.
There are some Atlanta Digital Marketing Agencies that may be worth checking out as you do your research.
At Method Q, we work with companies to not only write content but to make sure it’s the right content and that there’s a plan on where and why to use it. At the end of the day, not all content is good content.
However, having no content marketing at all is a worse content strategy than having too much content. Let’s talk about what your business’ content marketing strategy should be and what we should begin with.