In our studies of life, business and marketing, we hear about the magical formula to success, and it’s main ingredient is consistency. Showing up every day is part of the deal, and to fulfil the obligations of this formula and achieve success, we must apply dedication and consistency liberally. But is churning out a high volume of quality content day after day sustainable? We will explore the ideas around sustainable marketing and consistency in this article.
If content is king, consistency is definitely the queen. You see, while we can spend six months crafting a piece of work to be published, you have lost the window of opportunity in this chaotic world we live in. Every day, millions of articles are published, hundreds or even thousands for your own specific niche. Your competitors are participating in this tourney, and so, if you want to keep your space at the top, or get there before they do, then you must join in.
Content marketing isn’t what it used to be anymore. I understand, more than most, that everything evolves, but this is different. In the past, to get your voice heard, one must have deep pockets. Then came along social media and gave every person on earth the opportunity to scream and be heard – for “free”. The social networks swelled in size and then reduced the organic engagement that was once free to access, installing a toll system, forcing businesses to pay the toll to access the people on the other side. It’s gone full circle and back to the past method of, should one want to be heard, they need deep pockets. Marketers then devised a strategy of content marketing that intended to break the system. They thought they were being clever by creating an incredibly high volume of content and publishing original content daily on their blogs and social media, hoping that this would return their engagement to what it used to be. All it has done is flood the system.
Brands are now expected to produce content day after day ad infinitum else they will be viewed by their customers as inactive. And to make it worse, the pace of marketing has changed dramatically over the last ten years. Gone are the days when an event happened and you could wait until tomorrow to publish a press release. If something occurs, negative or positive, it’s online in seconds. Through social media, everyone around you has become a journalist in their own right, telling the story as they see fit, embellishing as they desire without understanding the implications of those 140 characters, tapping away at lightening speed. Marketers need to get in front of this to control the narrative, but it’s not as simple as that. To control the narrative, it means that marketing has become a 24/7 job.
The expectations of marketing are bordering on mythical lately. We have a round-the-clock job with a content machine that cannot afford to stop making original content. That is exhausting just thinking about it, far less doing it. There are a few issues with this approach. Unless you have a writer, a graphic artist and a social media executive and a marketing strategist on board, it’s almost impossible to keep up that pace and sustain it for years, or until the strategy changes with technology changes. Unfortunately, most companies have an in-house marketer and expect them to take the brunt of the project. This is one of the reasons why your marketing is not working – you do not have enough man-power, but that is a conversation for another time… Maybe I’ll write about this in the next editorial ;)
Marketers need to think about social media, branding, websites, blogs, email marketing, white papers, and everything else marketing related, while keeping on top of industry news, technology changes and what their competitors are up to. Now imagine all the entrepreneurs trying to do all of this and run and grow a business. It’s impossible without a team, and sometimes even with, it’s a direct pathway to a burnout.
I strongly believe that we need to stop focusing on content volume and start looking at the quality of content that we are producing. Rather than write a 100 blog posts on random ideas, streamline that into a book which can be vastly more beneficial to your brand and company. Or write the blogs, and put them together later on into an ebook or white paper, making it a more valuable piece of content for your marketing. Social media and microblogging has diminished the quality of the work that is produced and marketers, myself included, have swapped quality for quantity.
Will this practice of ‘more’ change, or will this only increase acceleration? Will we see a day when content created is more for education and authentic knowledge rather than just to tick a box and perhaps get some likes? Or will this machine evolve into something worse? Only time will tell…