Content marketing is powerful stuff. It’s highly effective and increasingly popular. If you’re in the business of creating content, or if you’re a content marketing advocate within your company, life is good.
But the party won’t last. I guarantee that.
I don’t want to play up the idea that content marketing is a flavor of the week. Other experts, including Joe Pulizzi, have already punched big holes in that particular myth. Content marketing has been around for a long time; while the Internet has transformed the discipline the underlying principles still apply.
As more companies get acquainted with content marketing, however, we’re more likely than ever to see examples of what not to do.
Case in point: Some B2B marketers really want to treat content as an extension of their traditional brand marketing efforts. They view subtle messaging and user-focused content as missed opportunities. There’s a temptation to question the value of content that doesn’t put a tangible, product-focused message front and center.
There’s a temptation to talk about yourself and your company, rather than talking about your customers and their needs.
At least in the B2B space, this is a recipe for failure. According to the results of our own 2012 Content Preferences Survey, 75% of the respondents want companies to curb the sales messaging in their content. Another 60% said they’re placing a greater emphasis on the trustworthiness of the source when they assess the value of a piece of content.
The message I take from these results is that business buyers are increasingly wary of the content marketers offer them. They’re now less likely to look past in-your-face sales messages, and they’re more likely to penalize companies that salt their content with such messages.
Staying ahead of this trend won’t be easy, especially since the best content marketers today are extremely good at what they do. But as we see more companies creating more content – both good and bad – you don’t want your company to land on the wrong side of the line.