Are you proud of your content?
A friend of mine told me the other day that he wouldn’t spam his clients with the white papers his marketing team creates. I was stunned by his words, because he unintentionally provided a very interesting perspective of the way we think about content marketing.
If consumer marketing lives in the fantastic world of things that are wonderful, great, proven guaranteed, and, of course, free that are healthyalternatives to be ordered today, in b2b you are only doing your marketing job if humans can’t grasp what you are talking about after the first read.
Try to quickly understand what this means: enterprise-ready platform-enabling personalized engagement at scale. I’m guessing you’re not sure what is this, but have no doubt that it’s something that’s worth millions and will take years for integration — especially if there are words like scale and enterprise in one sentence!
Too heavy? No worries. Try the next generation product development for better business outcomes. This might cost another million, but it’s worth it. After all, a million is not big money in the world of connected opportunities (and no, I don’t mean Tinder).
In the world of marketing, you don’t sell more, you accelerate revenue growth. You don’t analyze, you filter through the noise. You don’t improve, you skyrocket, not because you are smart, but because of unparalleled insight. And, don’t forget, if you do a simple regression it’s now called artificial intelligence.
Ok, enough mocking corporate elephants, let’s be serious. Humans have never faced such an intense stream of information as we experience now. Yes, our brains are very powerful, but they also have a limited capacity. It doesn’t help that we only have 24 hours a day to consume information, and a big part of that time dedicated to sleep so the brain can collect and trash unused information.
As a result, we are only able to consume simpler, shorter, and easier pieces of information from the ocean of content surrounding us, wisely staying away from cumbersome chunks requiring too much time and energy for our brains to swallow.
There is a lot of evidence that shorter and simpler information has the biggest impact in our life. TV shows fall into neat 25- and 45-minute blocks. We are soaking up business wisdom more and more from blogs and articles rather than from thick books. Even commercials, once 60-second productions, have been shortened to a standard of 30 seconds or fewer. Information has to be short and easy to understand for customers to allow it into their heads with no hassle.
However, every marketing manager knows that if they try to use plain language for the corporate website, the boss will irritatedly demand that they make it more professional, which means adding marketing lingo and buzzwords. This is exactly what’s happened to my friend’s whitepapers.
We use Net Promoter Score to check if we did a good job building a product that customers will love. We set the highest standard for our product team: The product should be so great that our users love it so much that they recommend it to their friends.
So, why can’t we apply the same concept to content marketing? We should be asking of our content, “Do I want to share this content with customers? Will it strengthen our relationship if I do?” An emphatic and consistent yes to these questions should be the standard of content marketing we strive to live up to.
If you read an article developed by your marketing team, and it’s so crystal clear, so well written, if it’s so full of great thoughts and meaning that you couldn’t resist sharing it with your colleagues, friends and even with your significant other, only then you can conclude that the content marketing is done right.