The Missing Ingredient: Why Your Content Marketing isn’t Working

The Missing Ingredient: Why Your Content Marketing isn’t Working


Not long ago, we asked the question, “Is Content Marketing Already Dying?”  Although it is clear that the content marketing craze isn’t over, It still looks to be like email in the 2000s, on the down slope. The vast sea of content on the Internet and available for download seems to be saturating the market.

If youlook at the content available in your market or attempted to find information in another market, it’s not hard to see whey; there’s a heavy overlap in the materials available, and much of it is thinly veiled sales material.  In part, the overlap makes sense—the key issues in any industry are what they are.  But in the rush to take advantage of content marketing there’s just too much low-value content made available. As noted in a previous post, when was the last time you read a content marketing piece that made a real difference to your life or how you run your business? This overlooks the core purpose of content marketing; to get noticed and differentiate yourself at key points in the buying cycle.

Creativity and Intelligence Sets Your Company Apart

To win business you must show prospects both what you can do for them and why you can do it better than your competitors.   You undoubtedly know that and had it in mind when you put together your marketing plan.  Then, however, content marketing swept in and the imperative became getting in the game.  Everyone was doing it.  The market was changing.  You had to be part of it.

In the process, a lot of good marketing professionals forgot that simply jumping on the bandwagon is rarely a good way to make your company stand out.

Making Your Content Marketing Stand Out

There are as many ways to set your content marketing apart as there are characteristics that distinguish businesses.  However, here are some jumping off points to help you start planning:

  • Think about where and how you make your content accessible.  Search engines return millions of results and there are as many free white papers online as there are pictures of kittens—meet your prospects where they are, with the content they’re interested in.
  • Focus on your strengths.  You’ve probably already covered the bases with the basics everyone “expects” from your industry.  Now, show your market what you know that others may not.
  • Rely on or establish true expertise.  Provide real insights and high-value content–perhaps even give away a bit of your “secret sauce.” In an ocean of repurposed content, information of real value and advice from names recognized in your field will stand out and will be perceived to have value beyond the sea of pablum that already exists.

The bottom line is that all creative marketing should set you apart.  Engaging in content marketing today makes you just like everyone else. Figure out how to do it your way and really take advantage of the whole reason content marketing started to begin with.

And, start inventing YOUR Next Big Thing. See if you can’t lead your industry in getting there. (Here’s a hint: it probably has to do with visual content and making it available on mobile devices)

Author Oya Voices

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Eileen says:


    Agree that there is a lot of mediocre content out there. But there is also a lot of good content that I’ve come across that has made a difference in my business.

    Offering practical tips on how to use a new (software) tool, providing ideas for solutions to deal with your client’s pain points or sharing a contrarian perspective from the crowd are ways to offer real value.

    And, yes combing visually distinctive imagery that is thought-provoking and eye-catching has always been an effective tool in the designer’s tool box, and now being recognized by the business world.

    I think blogging — good blogging, with creative, insightful content is here to stay. In a complex world where consumers and clients are looking for informed answers to their questions and valid solutions to their problems, the winners will articulate their thought leadership, value and expertise and be well-positioned to meet those needs.

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