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How to Avoid the Content Marketing Arms Race

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Remember when a content marketing plan might have consisted of a single blog post a week? With consumers constantly bombarded with news and content via an ever-expanding array of media and social platforms, brands have been pressed into a “content arms race” that has them posting to blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. multiple times a day. They’re hiring teams of content strategists, creating social media war rooms, and even using automated content creation and curation platforms to feed the beast and improve their reach and engagement metrics. But how much of this activity actually serves a brand’s business goals? Or truly engages consumers?

Published in: Marketing
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How to Avoid the Content Marketing Arms Race

  1. 1. How to Avoid the Content Marketing Arms Race INTEGRATE 2015 West Virginia University
  2. 2. 3 Content Marketing has had so much potential
  3. 3. 4 How did it come to this?
  4. 4. 5 We’re in a content marketing arms race
  5. 5. 6 “The more content I can put out, the more luck I have,” he says. He’s redeployed an employee at VaynerMedia, his social media consultancy, to “shadow my life” by following him to record his remarks and turn them into social media content.” - Gary Vaynerchuk in Forbes, June 2013 Once you’re ready to film, just throw the Lily in the air and it will follow you wherever you go, filming HD video of your most extreme stunts. - Quartz, 2015
  6. 6. 7 Rather than creating useful content for people, we’re creating mountains of garbage for machines
  7. 7. 8 Email connected people directly to other people
  8. 8. 9 And then marketers saw an opportunity to make it more efficient
  9. 9. 10 Websites connected people to vast amounts of helpful information
  10. 10. 11 And then marketers saw an opportunity to make it more efficient
  11. 11. 12 Social media was going to change all that though
  12. 12. 13 And then marketers saw an opportunity to make it more efficient
  13. 13. 14 Branded content was going to become the next evolution of advertising
  14. 14. 15 And then marketers saw an opportunity to make it more efficient
  15. 15. This is why we can’t have nice things 16
  16. 16. 17 Stop trying to figure out the tricks to gaming the system
  17. 17. 18 Because the system will change tomorrow
  18. 18. 19 The current way isn’t working anyway *Source: Forrester, April 2014
  19. 19. 20 “Instead of relentlessly demanding more consumer attention, treat the attention you do win as precious. Then ask yourself a simple question of any new marketing efforts: is this campaign/email/microsite/print ad/etc. going to reduce the cognitive overload consumers feel as they shop my category? If the answer is “no” or “not sure,” go back to the drawing board. When it comes to interacting with your customers, more isn’t better.” *Source: Harvard Business Review, “Three Myths about What Customers Want,” May 2012
  20. 20. 21 Easier said than done “We need more leads coming in!” “Are we on Flayvr yet? We totally need to be on Flayvr!!” “Why is our blog traffic down? Make sure you post more so we get that back up!” “I just saw that Brand X had 1,000 Likes on a Keep Calm and Carry On poster – I want us to do that too!” “If you’re going to create new content, that all needs to go through Legal before it gets published and that takes 2-3 weeks” “We need to have more likes than our competition”
  21. 21. 22 If you put your audience first, everything else will follow.
  22. 22. The Copernican Shift – Consumer Centricity Consumer Google Brand 23 Google Brand Consumer
  23. 23. 24 Fills a consumer need Drives measurable consumer action Reflects the brand Satisfies a brand’s business needs Great content:
  24. 24. 25 • Consumers want to have relationships with brands • Interactions build relationships • The more interactions, the better • More people are engaging with our brand
  25. 25. 26 • Consumers want to have relationships with brands • Interactions build relationships • The more interactions, the better • More people are engaging with our brand No, they don’t Not the ones you’re having Please, make them stop I’ll pay more if you make them shut up
  26. 26. 27 By putting the audience first, we create content they will read, share, and talk about  Who is our audience? (Who isn’t?)  What do we want readers to do?  How does it make them feel?  What do readers want from us? (Do we have it?)  What assets do we have – people, places, things?  How do they talk about us when they think we’re not listening? (Are we?) What do we have to offer that no one else does?
  27. 27. 28 Do more than tell a story, tell your story
  28. 28. 29 Your brand produces content every day • Your history • Ideas that didn’t make the cut • The “why” behind business decisions • Challenges • Your culture • New product uses • Requests for feedback • Your causes • Your POV
  29. 29. 30 You don’t have to create it all • Original • Curated • Co-created • Sponsored • User-generated
  30. 30. 32 MISSION Build some downtime. Enjoy the backyard.
  31. 31. Fully Integrated
  32. 32. 36 “Never sacrifice the quality of your copy for the sake of the search engines.” - Matt Cutts, Head of Google's Webspam team
  33. 33. 37 Ultimately, good SEO is about providing a good user experience and compelling content.
  34. 34. 38 1. Optimize Content Environment http://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en/us/webmast ers/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
  35. 35. 39 2. Adapt your content so the reader can find it
  36. 36. 40 3. Distribute your content
  37. 37. 41 1. Help the consumer 2. Align with your brand and its business goals 3. Then optimize for Google
  38. 38. 42 • Steve Radick • VP, Director of PR at Brunner • www.steveradick.com • @sradick • @brunnerworks
  39. 39. Questions? 43

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