Taking the marketing out of Content marketing.

“Half of what I say is meaningless…..but I say it just to reach you…..”

A line from one of the best Beatles songs of all time - which is saying something - (‘Julia’ by the way) one which resonates with me on so many levels.

But one which rather worryingly, started me thinking about the world of Content Marketing.…

“Half of what I say is meaningless……but I say it just to reach you… “

Ahhhhhh, the line takes on a different angle now. That is what content has now become to me – meaningless arguments being thrown in my face with only small elements that actually resonate with me at any intellectual or emotional level.

Now, I know that all some editors are trying to do is “to reach me” - to see an advert or sell me their company or suchlike in the “analysed” belief that I will more likely either click and buy something, share the prophetic words (or chart) on social media or even get into contact with the author or sponsor.

God its horrid….   

Obviously it’s something that I’m doing wrong – I mean it must be. My search and browsing behaviour is not leading me to the right content, the people I follow on social media are not producing content that is anything that is actually working for me on any level.

But maybe it’s more that this ‘algorithmic’ way of presenting content to me has maybe it’s all got a little too clever? I think it’s called personalisation…..

I’m not finding anything new, my thinking is being limited by the type of content that is being presented to me – I’m getting lazy sitting in front of a screen waiting to be educated and then when I read some content that is clearly focused on marketing a product, organisation or individual I become frustrated, fed up and less likely to engage with it.  

This is not new – many research reports about how the web is changing the way we learn and gather knowledge within restricted social and technological boundaries. But I’ve got used to this and have accepted this as the norm -  I think I need to take back control….

I needed to ‘de-personalise’ my online content and send more time (re)searching information and different ways of thinking on the internet – not simply read what is presented to me. The skill and strength of gaining knowledge is being prepared to look in different places to understand and grow one’s own thoughts – in effect receiving and then reacting to new ways of thinking, learning from completely different markets, personalities and methods to pull together one’s own standpoint.

I now treat a lot of the content I read on the internet as an advert or a signpost to something that I may actually find interesting. This may well be in a scholarly article, a book or (in an increasing number of cases) on a podcast and now I’ve started doing that I’ve become more receptive to new ideas, more considered in my own involvement with projects and enjoyed the web more than before.

Creating content that is solely focused on marketing is ultimately unsatisfying for the reader. At first glance (in a Twitter link, for example) it may be interesting – but it doesn’t fulfil a true need, it doesn’t create thought and new ways of thinking – its ‘just marketing.

Creating content to really engage must be able to resonate with people, but it takes time. It needs to make them sit up and take notice and even inspire them, it needs to be written from the heart (or at the very least the view) of the individual, it needs to be created by an expert - not one who is an expert in copywriting – but in the subject matter. It is not creating attention it is creating thought.  

Now I’ve started to look a little more and look around the web more – I’m finding and learning more than I ever did on the web – you should try it, its fun.


Ditch the CMS

Don’t treat digital in isolation — use it wisely — customers will benefit and so will you.