May 13, 2019 Michael Mayday
According to content marketers, content marketing today is in bad shape. It should be no surprise as to why: more content is being created, shared and promoted than ever before, but with little to focus on what content audiences actually want.
According to a joint study between ON24 and Heinz Marketing, marketers have shown a significant decline in the confidence they have in their content marketing strategies. The problem has gotten so bad, in fact, that most marketers don’t know if they’re delivering the right content to the right audience, don’t measure performance and don’t measure results.
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The uncertainty around content marketing and its performance is unfortunate, but it doesn’t have to be fatal. Marketers can pull themselves out of their rut by understanding the four marketing mindsets that don’t cut it anymore.
Bad Marketing Mindset One: Growth Hacking
Growth hacking is a popular marketing mindset that exploded in the past decade. There are many different growth hacking definitions, but, in principle, the strategy centers around “grow the company no matter what.” Often, it does so through rapid campaign iterations.
The problem with most growth hacking efforts today, however, is that it distracts from the important, foundational elements a marketing program needs. Foundational strategies are thrown out the window in favor of whatever works. Buyer personas are inaccurate, not done or are targeted as “anyone and everyone.” The buyer’s journey
Growth hacking may work for a short while and provide early-stage startups with some numbers to show investors. But these early-growth sprints deplete marketing reserves at the cost of long-term, consistent growth.
Bad Marketing Mindset Two: Guesswork
Too many marketing campaigns today operate on guesswork. Marketers will share content they perceive as relevant, or popular, for an audience without considering actual pain points, needs or objectives. The guessing problem is prevalent and stems from a variety of factors.
Instead, marketers should use what they know and build from there. The scientific method — where marketers hypothesize, experiment, measure and assess — can add certainty to any content program. For example, editorial calendars can be used to plot out iterations on popular blog posts or content. They can also be changed based off of measured results.
Bad Marketing Mindset Three: More Means Better
Adding more to the pile of blogs and white papers and e-books inundates and intimidates clients and prospects. It’s also emblematic of something worse: that you don’t actually know your audience all that well.
Take the time to understand what your customers and prospects actually care about when it comes to your content. And a better understanding includes more than just the substance of the content you’re creating. Know which formats and channels drive more interaction, engagement and interest and deliver content for those channels.
Bad Marketing Mindset Four: Follow the Leader
There are a lot of marketing success stories out there. In fact, sharing those stories is a mini-industry unto itself. It’s tempting to look at the success of others and copy what they do, but copying a tactic or strategy and applying it to your marketing situation ignores the needs of your audience.
Remember that every business, yours included, is uniquely different. Your customers, selling environment and your industry add up to one requirement: content created from your organization’s unique perspective. To create this unique perspective, you need to have a strong understanding of your audience, their pain points and where and how they engage with your content.