Low-cost tools and technologies have made the masses of b2b marketers more prolific in creating content than ever before.
For example, visualization tools empower marketing to quickly manufacture colorful infographics and illustrations. Marketing automation systems empower marketers to send dynamic email drip campaigns tailored to individuals and their behaviors, at scale. And Web publishing systems and social networks have made it easier than ever to broadcast and share things at scale.
Also, new online marketplaces have connected low-cost writers and creative professionals with businesses that want to create copy and video quickly and inexpensively. Shrinking newsrooms have resulted in growing numbers of trained journalists and creatives with more time on their hands, which has accelerated this trend.
Meanwhile, search engines, social networks and perishable email inbox streams often incentivize increased manufacturing of content, with links and shares –though those links and shares too often are driven by eye candy, sensation and a need for attention.
So it’s no wonder we now have a cottage industry of evangelists that preach the gospel of “content marketing.”
The result is that a lot of people and machines are creating a heck of a lot of content. Volume is growing, but quality seems to be declining. That’s at least according to my inbox, the ads I’m served, and the content others pass along.
I love a good infographic, but it takes a lot of bad ones to eventually find a truly informative one. I also appreciate good emails and white papers. But most of them, particularly in the business-to-business realm, seem to be superficial, too salesy and often filled with spelling errors.
In fact, a lot of b2b companies that are publicly praised for “great content marketing” send me a lot of bad content too frequently. (I won’t name names because that wouldn’t be nice.)
Perhaps most companies don’t need higher volumes of content marketing, even though technology enables it. Instead, many companies need fewer pieces of content marketing, but of much higher quality, and targeted more precisely.
Tools and automation should be embraced, but not at the cost of quality.
Make sure your content rocks!
This article also appeared in MediaPost.
I absolutely agree! There was previously a perceived threat to the disciplines of journalism and copywriting, when it seemed years of experience didn’t seem to matter when going digital. However I think there is now a sea of change and a big distinction between companies which merit their excellence in the content created for customers.
It would be nice if the better stuff more easily surfaced. A lot of the better stuff gets buried in eye-popping disposable stuff.
Max, your post is spot ON. My team is trying to create and share only relevant content to buyers (CFO/CRO office). What is the best tool you have come across for B2B content marketing? We use a marketing automation software for campaign management and other operational activities.
Thanks Shikhin. Pardot and Marketo are good for small to midsize b2b operations. The tools are all good but the real question comes down to application and content. The tools are good enough so that picking one should be 5% of your effort, and applying whichever one you picked should become 95% of your effort….IMHO.
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