Editor’s note: This material is reprinted with the permission of Randy Frisch. The following excerpt is from F#ck Content Marketing.
Admit it: If you’re the CMO or the CEO of your company, you’ve probably thought of saying, “F#ck content marketing!” once or twice yourself. And why shouldn’t you? So much of your budget has gone toward creating content, toward investing in an abundance of software, and toward countless hours of head scratching as you try to get that content in front of your audience.
Content marketing has long been hailed as the great fix-all of the digital age, and yet you’re just not seeing the returns you think you should.
The good news is, if you’re investing in content marketing, you are on the right path. Today, most CEOs have bought into the idea of content marketing and understand its value, which is why, every year, about 70 percent of B2B marketers expect they will create more content (similar numbers exist for B2C).
But, as the Gartner Hype Cycle teaches us, sometimes the process of buying in alone leads to inflated expectations. Whether it’s email, social media, wearables, artificial intelligence, or, yes, content marketing, whatever new trend over the years we hitch our wagons to, we expect it to lead the way to revenue.
When we inevitably realize that isn’t the case, we quickly plummet from idealistic perch and become deeply and terribly disillusioned. “Holy shit,” we say, “this isn’t as easy as I thought. It turns out I can’t just write a blog or start a podcast and expect my audience to find it. This content marketing thing is actually going to require some serious effort.”
It sure is. But done right, it’s also incredibly worth it.
So if you’ve reached this point with content marketing, right now you have a choice. Throw your hands up, say “F#ck it,” and walk away, or dig in and actually think about when and how your content can help you win.
Content marketing has served us well over the past decade or so. Today, however, more and more organizations are realizing that’s not enough. Content alone isn’t some magic cure-all. This isn’t Field of Dreams where if you build it, they will come. Here, once you have it, you have to use it. And to do that, you and everyone in your organization must join together to say, “F#ck content marketing!” and then turn your focus to what we call content experience.
So what exactly is a content experience? At my company, Uberflip, we define content experience in the following way:
A content experience is (1) the environment in which your content lives, (2) how it’s structured, and (3) how it compels your prospects and customers to engage with your company.
Ultimately, mastering the content experience involves three elements:
In our day-to-day as consumers, brands like Spotify, Amazon, and Netflix have understood the value of experience for years, masterfully shaping how we as consumers enjoy our “content.”
In the B2B world, however, we tend to think that what works in the B2C world doesn’t apply to us. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In fact, according to Salesforce, 82 percent of B2B purchasers expect the same level of personalization in B2B environments that they get in their consumer world. (It makes me laugh to think what the other 20 percent of buyers expect.)
I try not to differentiate between what B2B or B2C would do and focus on what it takes to close a complex or considered purchase. Either way, you can’t tell me that personalization wouldn’t be a key factor in time-to-close a sale and customer loyalty.
Here is your chance to deliver on that expectation, providing your target buyers with the content they need when they need it. And how do you do that? By focusing on the content experience.
Excerpted from F#ck Content Marketing by Randy Frisch. Copyright 2019-present. Used with permission of Randy Frisch.
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