My friend Mark Schaefer wrote a compelling post last week about Content Shock. The ensuing conversation revolved around whether or not the content marketing movement will collapse. The most important sentence in Mark’s post (IMO) was, “Content marketing is not over.” That’s because people need content.
No matter how you slice and dice it, people still want information about other people, places and things. One way of finding information becomes too noisy, they seek another.
Some of the economics in Mark’s post were fantastic, but the overall gist was great content wins. Bad and mediocre corporate content is losing, and it is losing faster due to a competitive arms race.
Frankly, many marketers are producing bad content, and they shouldn’t succeed. And prior to the content marketing boom, marketers produced other shoddy forms of communications. So if that’s the collapse, so be it.
More content creates a premium on well presented information. It also highlights the importance of a balanced strategy including but not defined by the trend. The best competitors stand out. The rest fail.
And when marketers fail, they will seek a different way to develop customer relationships. Social media isn’t scalable? No one likes our blog? OK! Let’s try sponsored content.
Change the Rules
I agree with notion that in spite of big companies, niche and differentiated content will find ways to win. Yet, in last week’s conversations I saw assumptions that those brands with frequency, the most sizzle, the best personalities, and overall distribution strengths will win. While these are assets that big companies can purchase, it’s only to win a digital content arms race defined by bloggers.
What happens when someone changes the rules?
Let’s face it, someone (or Google)
changes the rules.
It’s not about shooting more. Instead, change the game. To use a Seth Godin saying, instead of trying to out-moo every other brown cow, become a purple one. Do something that completely differentiates your efforts.
As an event creator, I love it. Blog posts are easy. Quality events are hard.
The increasing glut of digital information makes quality events more important. Why? People rely on their peers and live real-time buzz more than ever. An event is a primary driver of large word of mouth moments, dynamic personal interaction, and yes, great content.
The need for live real-time entertainment and events is driving outlandish broadcast contracts for sports teams and leagues. Sporting events are one of the few live events that people pay attention to in the moment. Disagree? How many of your friends were glued to the TV or compulsively checked scores on their smartphones during the NFL Playoffs?
By the way, PriceWaterhouseCoopers predicted the media rights boom in 2011, when they said, “…sports viewing is proving virtually immune to time-shifting. In the key 18-49 demographic, live programmes dominate the ratings, and sports are well represented in the top-rated live programmes.”
When a tactic becomes overplayed, to win you must either excel or change the rules. If you play the same game, you will be held to the same dynamics and consequences as everyone else.
Cut against the grain. Create different methods and ways to give people the information they want. Or you could just keep publishing blogs (and possibly perish).
What do you think?