If You are Thinking about Content Marketing as an Add-on, You’ve Got It all Wrong
As a B2B marketer, we are often tempted by shiny objects.
Let me explain. You see another company release a beautiful infographic that seemingly blows up on social media and in your next meeting you suggest “we need to release an infographic.” Next thing you know, Pinterest is all anyone can talk about, and all of a sudden you’re spending more time than you care to admit pinning your content. How about QR codes?! Your competitor has a newsletter and now you want to send out a newsletter, as well. These are just a few examples of shiny objects. (And yes, I have been captivated by them, too!) Shiny objects are essentially the things that get in the way or distract you from your goals. I am all for experimenting and exploring new tactics and strategies, so please do not take my rant the wrong way. I also think there needs to be some structure to experimentation, however, and from my perspective, shiny objects are typically one-off ideas rather than fully baked programs.
As I talk to marketers within our portfolio and my network, I sometimes get the sense that B2B marketers treat content marketing as a shiny object — something flashy and fun to play with. This is where they go wrong. If content marketing is viewed as an afterthought or a simple initiative to get started in Q2, you’re destined to stumble.
Content Marketing is the Bedrock of Your Marketing
The Content Marketing Institute has a nice, simple definition for content marketing:
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
It even goes as far as to say, “If you aren’t content marketing, you aren’t marketing.” This means content marketing truly is the bedrock, foundation, guts, and core of your entire marketing program. Recently, my friend Joe Chernov described content marketing as the cooking stock at a restaurant. Just as chefs spend hours perfecting their stock in order to ensure their main dishes taste delicious, B2b marketers need to allocate the right time and resources into it so all of the other dishes shine. Metaphors aside, content marketing should be viewed as the base of your all marketing efforts — lead generation, lead nurturing, social media, PR, and influencer programs. After all, what messages and content will you deliver over your marketing channels? If you are thinking about content in a silo, you are doing your audience a disservice.
Here some great resources to help you lay the right foundation:
- 5 Things You Need to Know about Content Strategy
- 5 Ways to Make Your B2B Marketing Smart
- Planning your Content Marketing: Bricks vs. Feathers
- Developing a Content Marketing Strategy that Drives Results
- Content Marketing Strategies in 60 Seconds