Why Content Isn’t King
Don’t believe the hype. Content marketing expert Rex Hammock wants to shine the spotlight on the true driving forces behind the marketing throne.
A growing number of companies are turning to content marketing to connect with customers and provide sustainable lead generation. According to the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends report from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 90 percent of B2B marketers are engaging in some form of content marketing, with B2C marketers not far behind.
Rex Hammock, founder and CEO of marketing services firm Hammock, Inc., a company with more than two decades of marketing experience, doesn’t want you to get too caught up in the hype, however. Content is not king, he says, and there is no such thing as an absolute monarchy in marketing.
Content is NOT the Key to an Effective Content Marketing Strategy
Find out why Content Marketing Strategist Robert Rose agrees
In a post on his blog, Hammock explains that “content is usually the least important part” of content marketing strategy. Instead, marketers need to focus on the “incredibly detailed work that goes into understanding the essence of a client’s true business objective,” as well as “understanding everything there is to know about the person on the other side of the transaction.”
But that isn’t enough. Even with great content and a clear understanding of both client and customer, success rests upon execution. The most compelling content will still languish unseen and ineffective if its publication is executed poorly. Getting your content in front of the right eyes at the right time is what makes a content marketing campaign successful.
Strategy, Execution, and Talent Reign Supreme
Before the Baltimore Ravens’ triumph at this year’s Super Bowl, Nabisco chalked up a victory of its own with Oreo’s viral, “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet during the Bowl blackout. Thanks to some quick thinking, the brand racked up over 16,000 retweets and generated more buzz than many of the game’s coveted ad spots.
Oreo’s win shows exactly why truly effective content marketing is more about timing and delivery than it is about the content itself. As Hammock puts it in another blog post, “Twitter rewards instantaneous, improvisational creativity — and courage,” and Nabisco was smart and brave enough to let its creative people operate without stifling corporate influence. Be the first to execute well with your content, and the Twitterverse rewards you.
The same principles apply to all promotional tools at your disposal. The real goal of your content is to serve and grow your customer base, and to do that you need to “try to find something that will help [your customers] do their job,” Hammock explained in a conversation with OpenView.
For example, “if you’re selling cameras to help them be better photographers, that’s where you should be focusing your content,” Hammock says. And that should also dictate the tools that you use, whether those are guides and reference books or webinars and online training. Consider both the audience and the objective you’re after, craft your mix of tools accordingly, and then concentrate on the timing and scope of promotion.
“The relationship between the company and its customer,” along with “the people who have the talent to create the compelling content that will help serve those customers better” are the true kings, Hammock says. Don’t be fooled into thinking that “as long as you get a certain number of keywords into your bucket of content, then you have accomplished something.”
Concentrate on how your content can most effectively serve the bottom line, and where your opportunities lie in execution. Do that, and your content will get the attention, recognition, and new customers you deserve.