Is Marketo’s Content Marketing Off Base?
I was recently invited to download a whitepaper/guide from Marketo titled, “Creating Content that Sells: Content Marketing For Demand Generation.” And, it took me a minute to work out my visceral distaste of this entire concept. The typical, “what’s wrong with this picture?” moment.
And it struck me; the entire concept of “content marketing that sells” corrupts the entire concept of content marketing. And then it made sense to me why so much of Marketo’s “content marketing” comes across as thinly veiled sales pitches–because they are. I believe that this is the philosophy that drives Marketo’s content marketing, which makes all of their content suspicious in my mind; akin to “what will it take to get you into this marketing automation package today?”
Now, this is not to say that there isn’t some valuable information in some of Marketo’s pieces. However, their content has been tainted for me now, because they have lost my trust. And this is the egregious error that may be common in content marketing; rather than building trust and positioning yourself (and/or your company) as an expert, you come across as a used car salesman (OK, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic, but not by much).
When I compare Marketo’s content marketing with another marketing automation company that puts out a lot of content, Hubspot, the difference is clear. One company puts out content that really does appear to be informative and objective and the other are sales pitches in a thin disguise. Which company is building trust and which is “creating content that sells”?
And, knowing this, which company is likely to create loyalty in their target markets (and beyond), and which is likely to be putting out a lot of “content that sells,” which is more than likely to turn off their very sophisticated market?
The lesson here is very clear; if you’re going to bother with the work and resource commitment to do good content marketing, then you also have to make the commitment to be with it for the long haul, to publish pieces that are objectively informative and not just designed to accelerate your sales cycle. Because the first will, over time, bring you a loyal audience. The second? Well, who knows?