I come from the editorial industry, but I’m very new to the world of content marketing. Honestly, these worlds aren’t far apart. Where I come from, I’ve learned that words are powerful. I’ve seen companies use them, many abuse them, and others, well … get completely frazzled about the endless amount of ways they can use words to get their business on the map.
The map, these days, is undeniably Google. Just about any conceivable question, word or phrase can be plugged into the Google machine, which will then generate answers or results that best fit the bill. Google sorts through all the information out there and determines what you want to see. Usually, it’s pretty good at it.
As far as Google is concerned, words (and original ideas) have a very bright future. But now, Google’s altered the way it produces search results—sifting through websites with duplicate copy, cut-and-pasted content and repetitive product descriptions to put forth … drum roll … original content! (Cue up 311’s song “Come Original.”) It dressed up this major shift in the image of a soft, cuddly, cute (and almost-extinct) bear. Panda. How ironic. (Is it because pandas are so picky about what they eat, who they mate with, and where they live?)
The search engine is now picky about the content it produces in the search results. It nixes the repetitive, over-used content and puts forth fresh, original content in its results. The way I see it is this is good news for writers and creative people. This is also good news for content marketing, which is essentially any type of original content that’s supposed to enhance a company’s image on the said map.
Yesterday’s blog entry on Entrepreneur.com clued me into how this shift is affecting marketing in general. Author Mikal E. Belicove makes note of a recent study. According to his article, “HiveFire, a Cambridge, Mass.-based internet marketing software solutions company, surveyed nearly 400 marketing professionals about the state of the business-to-business, or B2B, market, and discovered that marketers are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing tool box … the survey makes clear that content marketing is only going to become more important going forward, whether you market to other businesses or to the public at large.”
HiveFire’s survey even revealed that content marketing is changing the way marketers are dealing with content curation—or developing, organizing, and sharing content.
Is this opening up an opportunity for the creative, more editorially-oriented sector who are ever-so-desperate to deploy their skills? The survey shows, “Nearly 70 percent of content curators say lack of time hinders their efforts, with 66 percent saying a lack of original and quality content is a major drawback. Another 38 percent say difficulty in measuring results is the stumbling block and 37 percent say lack of staff to do the work is the hindrance.”
Translation? Companies are going to need to optimize their presence on “the map” by way of original content. It’s hard to find the time, the resources, the people and the right team to put together creative, original, compelling content that will reel in potential and existing customers.
Solution? Hire great writers! Attention: great writers everywhere! It’s now your time to shine! The world needs you!