Content Is Crap and Other Rules for Marketers

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Nike videos on YouTube routinely attract more than ten million views. Coke has nearly 100 million followers on Facebook. Red Bull has its own TV channel.

B2Band B2C marketers have some kind of content marketing program, less than 40% find those efforts effective. Clearly, things need to improve. Here are 4 things marketers need to know:

1. Content is Crap

 1995 essay by Bill Gates in which he called the Internet—still an emerging technology at the time—a marketplace of ideas, experiences, and products. He then proceeded to make failed investments in Encarta, MSN and MSNBC (MSNBC became profitable after he divested).

Content is crap.

 Harvard Business Review, marketers can learn a lot from publishers.

 shift their mental models.

2. You Want To Hold Attention, Not Just Grab It

 marketers need to build an ongoing relationship with consumers and that means holding attention, not just grabbing it. To get people to subscribe to a blog, YouTube channel, Facebook or Twitter feed, you need to offer more than a catchy slogan or a clever stunt. Rather, you need to offer a true value exchange.

 brands have to learn how to do publishing right. They need to start with a clear mission and think seriously about the experience they want to create. Success will not come from putting a clever spin on facts, but rather by uncovering powerful stories and telling them well.

3. Optimize For Mission, Not For Metrics

awareness, sales and advocacy. For the most part, this is a sensible way to go about things. It directs strategy towards action and instills accountability into the process. Businesses understandably want to know that they are getting a solid return on their investment.

 has explained, is that publishers who use clickbait headlines are betraying the reader’s trust. They might draw readers to visit, but they won’t see the brand as honest and trustworthy nor will they be likely to return. The best headlines, he argues, are ones that offer a promise to readers and then over-deliver.

4. Publishing Is A Product, Not A Campaign

 net promoter score. These are all valid objectives and traditional campaigns are well suited to achieving them. Yet as I noted above, publishing offers marketers the ability to hold attention, not just grab it.

 retarget customers who show a purchase intent. In effect, if you restrict marketing activity to promotional campaigns, you will end up providing your rivals with a free lead generation service.

 marketers need to treat content as a product, not a promotion. That means clearly defining an editorial mission, identifying benchmarks and establishing a clear structure.