If you produce amazing/awesome/great content – focused on user needs. enlightening, and entertaining… then…………………… They will come.
In my recent posts I have questioned how social media marketing and content marketing will need to change now that Facebook has decided that businesses should pay to talk to customers. I call it post-Like SMM. A prominent social media writer, Mark Schaefer has been talking about Content Shock from so much stuff being published and publicized on social media. Post-Like is driven by monetization; Content Shock is a result of so much content marketing; but the effects of both are complimentary and problematic for traditional content marketing.
A number of fervent believers in content marketing have responded to the post-Like articles by citing an argument that seems borrowed from the movie, The Natural – just produce amazing content and people will consume it. Mark Schaefer has obviously had the same experience as he lead off a discussion a followup post “Six Arguments Against Content Shock” with “Great Content will always rise to the top.”
Content Marketers who argue for the “better mousetrap” are not following marketing theory or real world evidence. Was Windows 3.1 better coded or better to use than the Macintosh language? By what possible standard – other than success – would one judge “Keeping up with the Kardashians” (9 years on TV), better than “Firefly” (less than a season)? A recent Ad Age article discusses pervasive myth of the better product winning.
I think it is useful to think of content marketing in a traditional marketing framework. Some marketing people have fit social media marketing into the 4 P’s framework by suggesting that Product is brand and Promotion is Content. But if content is key to customer relationships it may be best to view it as the “product” in the 4 P’s framework.
There are FOUR P’s in Marketing!
How would the 4 P’s of Marketing – Product, Price, Promotion, and Place – apply to content marketing?
Product: Content should be high quality and matched to user needs. Content had better be excellent. Especially in a world with Content Shock where so much content being created! It is proper for marketers to product great content, focused on the target audience. However, excellence is necessary, but not sufficient. That’s why there are 3 other “P’s.”
Price: If attention is a scarce resource, even “free” content may be expensive! Price in this context includes ease of discovery: reputation and search positioning matter. This may be a real barrier for new entrants in content marketing, as already established content providers turn out more and more stuff. Making content easy to consume – summaries or ease of skimming – may be an advantage.
Promotion: There is a reason why companies are including web addresses and social media names on products and in paid ads. Now that FB has revised its algorithm to encourage businesses to use ads and paid posts, smart content marketers will need to experiment with a mix of paid ads and posts and content.
Place: Place is more than which searches one’s stuff shows up in, or in which social networks it is shared. Further focus must be on the communities where the content is consumed, discussed and shared. In a world of abundant content, WOM will have a huge role in what consumes precious attention.
Content production will be evaluating as a product – benefits vs. costs. Some businesses may find other marketing strategies to be more useful.
What are YOUR thoughts about Content Marketing in a “post-Like” world afflicted with “Content Shock”???