The King is Dead! Long Live Content Marketing!
For many years, conventional wisdom, and the mainstream media has told us that “Content is King.” In other word, producing great content is what a strong brand should do.
But so what? That seems obvious, right? Doesn’t it make sense that good information, presented in a compelling way is going to help build a brand or sell our products?
Possibly. But in many ways, a pure Content is King branding approach has hurt brands more that it has helped.
This is because, at face value, after asking “what is content marketing?” and discovering the value of an integrated content marketing strategy, many marketers assume that a Content is King strategy means that the more content we push out into the market, the stronger our brand will be and the more sales we’re going to get. So they fire up the content machine (blogs, press releases, videos, social posts, etc) and start cranking out content.
Seems simple, right? It’s as if there’s a one-to-one ratio between the amount of content we push out and the amount of sales we can expect.
Of course, this is not how it works. But this attitude does reflect a problem with the way most companies go about pursuing a content marketing approach. The problem is that the strategic approach to content marketing within these companies hasn’t gone any farther than a simple Content is King strategy. And the results? They are adding to the level of increased confusion and noise in today’s marketplace.
Ultimately, this confusion washes over the targeted audience and the people inside the companies that sign checks. And if there’s one thing consumers are not going to do, it’s to make a purchase while in a state of confusion. So they wait. Sales lag. And the content machine eventually sputters to a halt.
If, in theory, good, relevant content will help build brands and sell products, what else — beyond a misdirected Content is King strategy will pay off on this elusive promise?
The answer lies in the focused strength of a 1+1 = 3 illustration, reflecting the power inherent in the dynamics of coordination and integration.
This analogy reinforces the fact that creating and distributing content must be connected through a well-coordinated pipeline and consistent message and theme.
The core message must be singular in purpose, and that message re-purposed in many ways, across a wide range of media types.
The result is messaging impact and marketing spend efficiency.
This is what is a Content Distribution Ecosystem is.
From a strategic standpoint, it is a messaging campaign of sorts (non-paid, but there can be paid components) built around a single appealing marketing asset. This asset works best if it’s a marketing message coming from a third party perspective, such as a customer point of view captured in the form of an audio or video interview. Then, the third party endorsement component of this testimony is re-purposed across media channels, in various forms.
From a tactical standpoint, it is utilizing the various pathways that have become available through the growing presence of the Internet. These channels, offering the ability for a brand to publish written content, audio content, video content, and much more, are increasingly becoming super-highways of two-way communication, enabling content to create two-way conversations that more closely connects brands with the individuals who they are hoping to reach.
In its recent report of B2B marketing leaders entitled “Real Engagement in the Age of Personalization,” The Incite Group reports “The most essential issue in Content Marketing, as cited by more than half of in-house respondents, is “Effective Distribution and Getting Content in the Right Places.”
Enter the Content Distribution Ecosystem approach to content marketing — a unique approach to branding and content marketing that smartly offers the promise of a content marketing program that works … harder.
If you’d like to discuss how a content distribution ecosystem can help support your brand or product line, please send me an email.
Bill Threlkeld is president of Threlkeld Communications, a content marketing and public relations agency based in Santa Monica, California. Threlkeld Communications specializes in integrated editorial ecosystem campaigns that utilize PR, Social Media, Blogs, Audio, Video and Email Marketing.