We recently stumbled across a great article from prolific blogger Chris Brogan that advocated for the reimagining of many current content marketing strategies. His article, appropriately titled “Stop Making Content Just To Make It,” touched on three main talking points, all of which reminding us that sharing content without a purpose does nothing but add to the ever growing noise online.
With the amount of times that we’ve heard (or even said) that content is king within the past year, Brogan’s article offered a breath of fresh air that and some much needed perspective on the current state of affairs. The problem, as he mentions, is that people are being told that “content is king” and interpreting that as the need to constantly be producing and sharing content. While constantly having content in front of fans and enabling them to interact with your brand is certainly beneficial, evidence is starting to show that content for the sake of content can be an exercise in futility and actually be a detriment to your brand.
After making these assertions, it’s certainly easy to see Brogan’s point. All too often brands are just throwing content online, seemingly to satisfy some number or expectation, without giving it much more thought than that. This speaks to Brogan’s first talking point, in which he explains that content must only be created and shared when it is beneficial for two entities—your business and your community. He argues that if your content doesn’t provide value to both, it’s not worth sharing and should be reconsidered or thrown out all together. It’s an interesting way of breaking it down, but it’s a great point that many marketers need to take to heart. While we’ve certainly been guilty of advocating for content marketing and welcoming its coming of age, we’ve also always made it a point to promote quality content, because as Brogan says, content for the sake of content serves no purpose.
He continues to talking about making your content useful, and once again, we agree. All too often we witness brands online sharing trivial pop culture gossip or tired memes and although these things may garner clicks, they certainly do not provide value to anybody, especially your business. The fact of the matter is, while content may be “king” at the moment, content without a purpose does nothing for your followers, and does nothing for your business as a result.
Looking to 2014 it’s plain to see that content marketing will be incredibly important in your overall marketing strategy—in fact, content marketing is so important to businesses now that we’re releasing a book alongside Bruce Clay that exclusively covers best practices for content marketing. However, the point is not about whether content marketing is important, it’s about the ways in which your practice it. The best advice we could give you on content marketing is to create and share content that is relevant and that provides value to those who follow you. As Brogan says, if you don’t have something meaningful to say or share, you shouldn’t feel like you have to share anything. In 2014, quality will far outreach quantity and that’s how you should approach your marketing strategy in the year to come.
Murray Newlands is an online marketing industry veteran, and the founder of TheMail.