Understanding what makes high-impact content and reexamining the competence of all the content “experts” out there.
The need for content and content marketing, as well as the discipline itself, has grown exponential just in the last few years. The proliferation of content is at staggering levels and buyers are inundated with it on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour and daily basis. And I think that the majority of B2B content out there, intended for buyer engagement and advancement, is simply subpar at best. And a BIG word of caution: In addition to a proliferation of content, there is now an explosion of new “experts,” “gurus,”, and “thought-leaders”. My advice is take a long hard look at their career experience prior to considering hiring one of them for guidance.
So very many people have reinvented themselves as content creators and content marketers. Many were journalists, copywriters or came from a completely different discipline altogether. The question is…how many are effective marketers? How many understand the pain points that really drive buyer behavior? Being an effective writer does not make one an effective marketer. Likewise, being an effective marketer doesn’t make one an effective writer. It’s the combination of the two disciplines that will be a catalyst to drive one’s effectiveness.
Just recently I was reading an article by an author positioned as a “thought-leader” and “guru”. Yet, in his very own piece, he stated ALL the way back in 2016, he had no idea what content/content marketing even meant. He then went further in describing how he needed to do a Google search on the topic and became overwhelmed by the vast amount of information and insights out there. My question is: how can this person be a content marketing guru so quickly when they had no context for what it even meant just a couple years ago?
Malcolm Gladwell, in his best-selling book Outliers, describes a phenomenon in which 10,000 hours of practice and hands-on experience are required for someone to ascend to “expert” status…whether that be a musician, athlete, pilot, engineer and yes, marketer. So how could this individual possibly have crammed approximately a decade of the requisite full-time, hands-on experience (complete with lots of trial, error and failures) into such a short period of time? I’ve been in B2B marketing for 25 years and have approximately 50,000 hours of hands-on experience (the vast majority of which has been aggregating, distilling, studying and ultimately writing best practices content)…and yet I literally learn something new and hone my craft every day!
The next question is how to you cut through this clutter and get the attention of your audience of prospective buyers? Especially when so many others are vying for the same attention. Believe me, it’s not easy…however it is doable.
So, let’s take a look at what makes high-impact content that engages, advances and converts buyers. Just refer to the checklist below: