Is Content Marketing Already Dying?
It’s been The New Big Thing for the last several years. Based on the acceleration in business cycles since the burgeoning of the internet, it’s arguable that anything that’s been The Big Thing for that long is already seeing it’s death knell. Nothing lasts for long in this environment.
Now, one caveat here; obviously in a B2C environment, and for SEO purposes, good content is required. But, in a B2B environment–where the general goal is thought leadership and awareness, and where content is being sent off the website, these arguments are highly applicable.
So, in this B2B environment there are several arguments that support this thought of Content Marketing already starting to decline in value. One of the first ones is that of Content Marketing’s current popularity. It means that now there’s tons of content out there. However good your filters, how well you tune them, and how targeted the content, there’s still way more content than anyone can deal with. Let’s face it; how much content can any one person consume at a time? Or even for a single search?
Let’s look at an example: A Google search for “business cloud services” yields 686 million results (!). If only 0.1% of those companies are writing just 100 words a week, that’s still over 68 million words a week of copy about the topic. Even though experienced web aficionados might quickly locate the best bloggers, writers, and journals out there, most people are likely to be quickly lost in the quagmire of content. Just the investigation to find the good content would take as much time as just finding good cloud services!
And then there’s the added component–and we have all had this experience–that as the quantity of content (or just about anything else) goes up, the quality becomes highly variable–generally going down.
Let’s be honest; when was the last time you came across a piece of Content Marketing that gave you a serious epiphany, deep meaningful insight, or something that you could immediately apply to your business to generate new sales? How much of it actually makes you want to “engage” with the brand that published it?
And finally is the question of creation and measurement. How long do you think corporate America and/or SMBs are likely to tolerate something that is so time consuming (good content creation) and, at the same time, has results that are so difficult measure with any accuracy?
Content Marketing is clearly not anywhere near dead today, but with the challenges it faces, is it a model that can be sustained for long? How much longer can it really produce results, and are those results already declining?
There is a lot of froth around content marketing right now, just check out this blog, and this one, just to name a few. But, it comes down to this; if the content doesn’t motivate me, interest me, or (at least) amuse me enough to capture me, is it doing anyone any good? And will the challenge of creating that quality of content eventually be so daunting that businesses are going to be good and ready to jump on the next Big Thing as soon as it arrives?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this one…