How content marketing will eventually end up back in the hands of creative and copywriters.
One thing the marketing and digital industries can agree on, is the importance and growing need for great content marketing.
The problem, as I see it, is that content creation opened up to the masses, meaning everybody became a content creator. With the proliferation of blogging, social platforms, ebooks, YouTube, Instagram filters, Pinterest et al, it became too easy to do it yourself.
Before this, content creation was mostly left to the creatives. If you wanted a big idea and a story crafting, you had to engage with an agency to brainstorm the idea, write the content and create the story. And this cost money.
Now everything is free, all the tools mentioned above are free, and most companies don’t want to pay someone to do something they could do themselves. If you can use WordPress you can write a blog. If you’ve got a video camera you can upload a video to YouTube. And on and on.
The problem I see again and again is that content left in the hands of the brand, just doesn’t get done. Business is busy, and paid work takes precedent over any content creation. How many company blogs have you seen where the last update was over a year ago? Content creation takes a lot of time and effort, and most people just aren’t willing to put the time aside to do it. The other problem is that just because you’re a great accountant/architect/producer/engineer etc, doesn’t make you a great writer or creator.
A lot of content marketing for SME’s today takes a very formulaic approach:
10 tips for this
15 tips for that
8 things you can do to…
The 5 mistakes that…
3 things businesses do that…
People do this for a reason as studies have shown that you get more engagement and higher open rates for this type of approach. Having a numbered list means people can easily digest the information, they know they can read it in 5 minutes or so.
However, I think the writing is on the wall for this type of approach.
Just look down your Twitter feed and see how many links to ‘tips’ and ‘how to’ articles you can find, it’s becoming invisible because so many people are doing it. It’s becoming harder and harder to stand out, to connect and to engage consumers.
The future lies in clever headlines, wordplay and compelling creative ideas. It lies in well thought out campaigns, provocative messages, pondering thoughts and ‘stop you in your tracks’ visuals.
The future of content marketing lies back in the hands of creatives.
The great thing about this, is that brands get better content, better integration of media, better planning and that the content actually gets done.