The following is information we gleaned from Dan Bischoff’s presentation, 10 Roles Needed for Content Marketing Domination, during January 2015’s IMSLC event.
If you’ve fallen bait to the content marketing cycle-of-no-return, you’re not alone.
Thousands of marketers like you have tried the good ol’ “launch a company blog and start getting tons of traffic” tactic and been disappointed in the results.
To illustrate – the year of 2013 showed a hefty 93% of businesses were using content marketing as a way to expand their audience. This percentage shrunk to 86% in 2014 and is continuing to shrink.
Content marketing, as trendy as blogging and clever infographics have been, is losing steam.
So why the decline?
“It didn’t work. It wasn’t working for people…” is the simple answer provided by Dan Bischoff, founder of Content Hook, during his presentation at last month’s IMSLC. That’s right, Dan founded a company based on content marketing. So if you’re thinking there’s probably more behind the story of content marketing’s failure other than “it doesn’t work”, you’re right.
Let’s start by touching on the main reason people attempt content marketing in the first place…
How It Used to be
Just ten years ago, salespeople held you by the strings. If you wanted to buy a product, you typically had to go through someone to get all the information needed: a sales rep, a travel agent, a receptionist – you name it.
Today we hold personal salesmen in our own pockets. Most of us use online reviews, search engines, social media, and friends’ reviews to make purchasing decisions.
“Before a customer talks to a salesperson, the sales process is already done,” Dan pointed out. According to the Harvard Business Review, at least 57% of the buying process has already occurred before customers pick up the phone.
Content marketing is used for a variety of reasons, the main one being that businesses want to play a role in the 60% of the sales process that occurs before customers contact the company itself.
So Why Are Marketers Failing at Content Marketing?
Dan gave us three reasons:
Need we say more?
You simply can’t compete against the elderly, soldier dads, or (especially) mourning dogs. Human stories will always win over advertised content.
On top of that, there are companies like Buzzfeed and Upworthy who do nothing but create content. Most of it is junk, but clickable junk.
And let’s not forget that Facebook likes are becoming less and less meaningful – the total number of pages ‘liked’ by the typical user grew more than 50% last year.
Dipping Your Toes vs. Diving In
This is the key.
The difference between those who find success using content marketing and those who don’t is the difference between simply dipping your toes in the water and diving in full force. You need a plan, a strategy, and a process.
A large part of that plan includes a robust, focused team made up of roles that are designed to drive content marketing from being so-so… to shareable.