I still hear a lot of marketers talking about Content Marketing Strategy as if it's still 2008. I hear folks talking about "Thought Leadership" and theories about companies becoming publishers and hiring journalists..."Branded Content".
All well and good, but not nearly good enough.
This chart looks at the total number of indexed pages in Google for the year 2008. Doesn't seem like that long ago.
Back then having a blog was still kind of a novelty. Usually you had the CEO or some cool hipster who was your thought leader. Jonathan Swartz was held up as the role model for corporate blogging.
And frankly, that strategy was in fact good enough. Search engines still cared about links to determine relevance and no business was really taking Facebook seriously unless it was to get more people to "friend" them.
Pulling content from your blog dynamically into your email marketing...completely foreign
But times change.
That quaint 1,000,000,000,000 indexed pages of only 5 years ago? It's grown to over 30 Trillion indexed pages this year. See that little yellow box?...that was 2008.
What this means is that organizations need to adjust to the 1 to 1 future. After 20 years of talking about this, the day has finally come.
Do you think Google wants 30 trillion indexed pages? 60 trillion indexed pages?
I sure think they do. Google wants to be a 1 to 1 marketing company. Facebook, LinkedIN & Twitter want to be 1 to 1 marketing companies. Email Marketing and Lead Management Software companies also want to be 1 to 1 marketing companies.
Most importantly, YOU want to be a 1 to 1 marketing company. To be successful at 1 to 1 you have to have a story for everyone and every scenario. It's not 1 to 1,000,000 or even 1 to 100. Our goal has to be to have the EXACT right content for the right person at the right time via the right channel.
So what's the Content Marketing Strategy for 2013 and beyond?
It's got to start with the 1 to 1 mindset of Volume. You are not creating enough content. Doesn't matter who you are. Even 10 blog posts a week is like bringing a knife to a machine gun fight.
The mindset around content has to change from 100% thought leadership and towards large quantities of stories that actually help people. Jason Baer talks about this at length in his new book "Youtility".
Content Marketing best practices must include:
But don't freak out...just bring an open mind and abandon your 2008 strategies.
Engage your employees. You can't hire enough specialized journalists to make a dent anyway, so stop trying. Hire an editor and someone who is good at asking questions.
Today's strategy includes widespread employee participation and someone who is good at the above exercises. Ask questions that your persona might ask based on your topics and funnel stages.
Confession: I'm writing this piece right now for for someone we call Michael:
This was assigned to me by our marketing department based on going through the process above.
Every employee should be invited to participate in your content marketing plan. You hire people who are smart, like their work and think it's important. They care and want to be empowered. You let them send email right? You let them talk on the phone don't you? I've seen amazing success with simply having employees blind copy email into the Content Marketing Platform for review by the editor.
Ok well this is getting a little long winded. More next time on Customer Generated Content. Meantime...2013 is more than half over.....get out of 2008!