There’s such a mountain of dreck and garbage in content marketing today that it’s burying all the good stuff. And that doesn’t include anything that’s generated by AI programs. Most of it is mediocre garbage created by barely-skilled practitioners who pray at the altar of First thought = best thought.
We miss out on all the good content because it’s buried by the same repetitive, 101-level nonsense — 5 Content Marketing Secrets (#1: Write good stuff) — that tens of thousands of other content marketers just sort of blurged out.
If content marketers want to stand out from the crowd, they need to be big and bold.
Fifteen years ago, when social media and blogging were just catching on, you could dominate your industry just by being on social media and having a blog.
Nowadays, you can’t not be online. You will be absolutely crushed by those companies that do. Imagine being dominated by another company that blogs once every three months and tweets every two weeks.
Enough With the 101-Level Content
That means creating stellar content. You can’t write the same introductory 101-level garbage that everyone else is. It’s been overdone, and you’re not going to stand out.
Do a quick Google search for your job or industry and the word “secrets.” Go ahead, I’ll wait.
. . .
How many results showed up? How many of them said the same thing over and over and over?
As you perused the results, were the top results from well-established brands with a major online presence and thousands of articles? Of course, they were. No one is going to supplant them without a lot of time, money, and effort. A lot of it.
When I did a search for “content marketing secrets,” not only were there 114 million results, but number one on the list was Hubspot, and the top info card was from ClassyCareerGirl.com.
So what sort of chance do I have of trying to rank #1 for that particular keyword? I would need to start a campaign that would take 80 hours per week, generate thousands of articles, and I would spend years doing social media promotion, and I would still be behind.
So rather than repeating that effort and writing the 114,000,001st “content marketing secrets” article, why not do something bolder?
Be Bold In Your Content Marketing
I’d love to see content marketers be big and brassy with their efforts. Don’t just limit yourself to blog articles. Do something out of the ordinary, something more challenging that not everyone else does. For example, you could:
- Write a book on your subject. Not just a 30-page ebook either, but a serious tome about your specialist subject. Nothing says, “I know a lot about this” like a book.
- Write a NOVEL about your subject. Remember The One-Minute Manager and Who Moved My Cheese? Those are technically non-fiction books called business parables. They’re stories that teach lessons through storytelling, not a dry recitation of facts. I’m currently working on a business parable for a client about his leadership philosophy.
- Record a podcast. Some of the best practitioners in their field have podcasts, which is how they become leaders in their brands. There are podcasts on marketing, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, dental practice, and accounting. If you can think of it, chances are there’s a podcast. But there’s not your podcast.*
- Write a graphic novel. I’d love to see a bank or wealth management firm teach kids about financial literacy, but with a graphic novel. Everyone’s got books and lesson plans to teach financial literacy, but no one has done it with a comic book. Now that’s bold!
- Create an audio drama. If you’ve ever listened to old-time radio or modern audio drama (same thing, different names), then you understand the power of audio storytelling. Create characters, create a conflict (plot), and build a story around it. Hell, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck made a movie about a shoe! So don’t tell me you can’t tell a story about your field.
- Better yet, make it an episodic soap opera. I would absolutely listen to a podcast about life at an insurance company that insures against superhero damage. You could use each episode to explain a small bit about the insurance industry — Acts of God, natural disasters, etc. — but make it fun to listen to as well.
- Make a movie. See above about Damon and Affleck’s “Air.”
- Do a weekly video series. Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz and Wil Wheaton lookalike, established himself as the King of SEO with his weekly Whiteboard Friday videos, which Moz continued with after Rand left the company. Create weekly whiteboard videos that show you explaining a particular topic or concept to your audience.
* Tip: Podcasts make great sales tools. Invite your sales prospects to be interviewed on your podcast. They may not take your sales call, but they’ll be happy to be on your podcast. And they’ll remember you and what you do later.
That’s how you can be bold. That’s how you can make content that’s better than the average, run-of-the-mill content that’s burying all the good stuff. You can make things that stand out and catch people’s attention in a way that regular blog articles — like this one, I know — just can’t do.
And if you have any questions about book writing, blogging, writing audio dramas, podcasting, or content marketing in general, let me know. I’ve done all of that, and am happy to give advice and recommendations.
Photo credit: McFadden Publications, Feb. 1939 (Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)