Content Marketing Myth
Content Marketing has been about for a few years. But the Content Marketing bandwagon has hit the mainstream for all websites. Everyone I meet is saying that they are going to be using a “Content Marketing Strategy” in the next twelve months. I am really happy for them. Great content will help build them a reputation when people visit their website. But it is not a stand alone tactic. Let me explain why it is loosing its value.
Supply and Demand
We all know the supply and demand theory. If items are scarce the price goes up. But once supply outstrips demand there is a surplus and the price drops. In the early days of blogging, which is the primary way of generating content, the blog to reader ratio was good. Even an average blog got reasonable traffic, as there were more readers than bloggers.
But now with everyone blogging, the supply has truly outstripped demand. There is a massive surplus of content and the value of that content has dropped.
Free is not Free
The idea that content is free is wrong from both sides. The reader only has so many hours or minutes a week that they can give to consuming content. So they are paying with their time. The early days of blogging and content marketing was pre-dating the true general use of social media. People would jump online to read webpages and see what content was out there. These days they have social media and this consumes a great deal of their free time.
For the person creating the content the concept of free is even more ridiculous. It costs you perhaps an hour to produce content that takes only a few minutes to consume. So unless you earn nothing an hour, content marketing costs you money in opportunity cost.
I am not saying that you should stop content marketing. I believe that you should put your thoughts and ideas down for the world to see. What I am saying in strong terms. Is that content marketing is not a strategy in its own right. It will not bring you fame and millions of customers. Content is a demonstration of your knowledge and skill. Content is something you can actually market. You have to promote your content. It is not a promotional channel. Build it and they will come was true fifteen years ago.
An example of this is a community I started in Google Plus for Small Business people in Sydney. I wanted a place where people could ask questions of the group and they could assist each other. Within days it filled with blog post links posted by people desperate for traffic. Go to most linkedin groups and it is the same thing. People spamming these groups trying to get traffic to their content. If content generated traffic there would be no need for this type of activity.
So create content that shows your skill and knowledge then use it as a business card. Use it to answer questions, it will have SEO benefits as each page gets indexed. But this is not a method to drive traffic it is a brand development tactic in your marketing toolkit.