Why it’s wrong to approach content like an all-you-can eat buffet

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Too many marketers come to the content marketing table hungry and looking for results, but ROI is dependent on formats that match goals.

As a Content Marketing Strategist, I find that many brand marketers come to the table hungry for results without first considering how strategies can support their unique goals.

It’s kind of like going to McDonald’s when you’re starving. You know you need to have everything right now. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach and the dollar menu is full of tempting options, so without further debate, you just go for it. You take one of everything even to sate that hunger, even if you have the inkling you might not really need it.

Don’t do this with your content. There is not a one-size fits all solution and you may not need to invest in blog posts, sales sheets, white papers, case studies and video content simultaneously.

My advice: Stop purchasing content like you’re preparing for a tornado. Assess your goals first and make smart choices.

Get over your FOMO, make wise content choices

 Stop purchasing content like you’re preparing for a tornado. Assess your goals first and make smart choices.

You’re in a hurry to churn out content for a number of reasons. Here are two I often hear from the clients I advise:

1. The interweb Gods (i.e. Matt Cutts) tell you it’s a must for showing up in search results

2. Everybody is doing it (It’s true, 93 percent of B2Bs say they are using content marketing in 2014)

We often innately experience a ‘fear of missing out’ complex in social situations, but with business strategies as well. The idea that you’re falling behind competitors might be enough to compel you to move forward with campaigns that aren’t designed to drive your top results.

Recognizing you have a problem (or need) is the first step, but you may still not know what type of content will best serve your business and its customers.

Develop a plan that’s right for you (Yes, just you)

The second step toward smarter content marketing and better ROI is to remove yourself from the pack. Your mother always told you that you don’t need to do something just because everyone else is doing it. Apply that principle now.

Don’t just create editorial schedules that reflect the content published by competitors and companies you admire. Make sure that you know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Part of the problem is that marketers don’t always recognize which formats lend themselves to various goals.

Lay a foundation based on your goals

Marketers must be sure their content marketing is working toward specific goals.

Let’s lay this out as simply – If you’re leveraging your website for thought leadership and brand awareness, then you’ll want to invest in different content types than if you’re seeking increases in search engine rankings or lead generation.

Here are some examples of how goals align with different content types:

Build your strategy around goal-centric framework

This is a mere snapshot of how you can align your overall business objectives and your content marketing strategy. Every company must identify its own business goals and develop a campaign to achieve those aims. You should be able to look at the content in your editorial calendar and identify how it’s working toward those results. 

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Suz is a Content Marketing Consultant in Brafton's Boston office. Born and raised in a suburb north of Boston, Suz returned to the east coast after a 4-year hiatus soaking up rays in San Diego. In her spare time, she enjoys being an avid Boston sports fan, reading, writing and engaging in social merriment. She also loves sunglasses. A lot.
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