A few weeks ago, I uploaded a post to the 60 Second Marketer blog called The Truth About Content Marketing that Nobody Else Will Tell You, In it, I drove home the point that content marketing is not a silver bullet and it won’t solve all your problems.
As good as content marketing is at converting prospects to customers, it’s just one tool in the marketer’s toolkit. The other tools include direct response, paid search, display ads, mobile marketing campaigns and a whole slew of alternatives.
The good news about the post from a few weeks ago is that it stirred up a nice discussion among the 60 Second Marketer community. The bad news is that I missed a key issue that’s confronting a lot of content marketers. And that issue revolves around what you’re focusing your attention on.
The problem with many content marketers is that they have their eye on the wrong thing. As you can see in the chart at the top of this post, there are several items that can get the attention of content marketers that are tangential to the key issue.
When you’re wrapped up in the day-to-day adrenaline rush to get the latest blog post, e-book, infographic or social media campaign out the door, it’s easy to take your eye off the most important aspect of your job. In other words, it’s easy to screw up your entire campaign by focusing on the wrong thing.
But before we talk about what to focus your attention on, let me remind you of something important:
CEOs Don’t Care About Content Marketing Campaigns.
At the front of every annual report, there’s a letter from the CEO. In the letter, the CEO talks about the key issues facing the company and how they plan on addressing those issues. If you’ve ever read one of those letters, you’ll notice that the CEO never talks about blog posts, Facebook Likes, e-books, infographics, branding or even building trust with prospects and customers.
Instead, they focus on a single topic, which can be seen below.
Here’s a question for you — last week, how many times did you talk to your staff about blog posts, e-books, Facebook Likes, SlideShare decks or infographics?
Here’s another question for you — how many times did you talk to your staff about acquiring new customers in order to grow revenues?
If you’re like most content marketers, you spent more time talking about the tactics than you did talking about the objectives. In other words, you talked more about getting the blog post finished than you talked about how that blog post was going to drive new revenue to the bottom line.
Action Steps for You Based on Today’s Blog Post.
Here are a few things to do this week to help you improve the results of your content marketing campaigns:
- Survey the Landscape: Ask your co-workers what their key area of focus should be. (Most of them will speak in terms of tactics rather than in terms of objectives.)
- Re-Focus Your Efforts: Help your staff understand that, as important as the tactics are, they don’t mean squat if you and your team don’t keep your eye on the prize. (In this case, the prize is to acquire new customers in order to drive revenue growth.)
- Track Your Progress: Keep track of how many times this week you take your eye off the “customer acquisition” ball and focus instead on the tactics. Stay focused on the objectives. Resist focusing on the tactics. (That’s not to say tactics aren’t important or that you should ignore them. It’s just to say that you shouldn’t take your eyes off the end goal.)
Does all that make sense? I hope so. Keep me posted on your results this week. I’d be interested in your thoughts and perspectives on this issue as we move through the final quarter of the year.
Jamie Turner is the CEO of the 60 Second Marketer and 60 Second Communications, a marketing communications agency that works with well-known brands and organizations. He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.