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Content Marketing: The Sound of One Hand Clapping.

Social media platforms are as ubiquitous as the content embedded in their servers. Everything has become white noise– a thick wall of static business owners must break though to get their message heard by audiences with ever shrinking attention spans.

The modern tactics business owners use to break through that white noise (webinars, emails, blogging, video, tweets, pins, likes and shares) is called content marketing.

I’ve never liked this term. It sounds like a contrived neo-tech buzz word. Marketing hasn’t changed a bit–but the tools and channels for message delivery certainly have.

By now social media is as common as TV and radio. It’s nothing new.

It’s finally an established channel of communication. But unlike TV and radio, which required gatekeepers who determine what content gets broadcast, social media, as we all know, is a free for all freak show of cat pictures and quotes from dead people.

The idea of content marketing is easy for business owners to love and embrace. It’s essentially free!

Unlike paid advertising, it costs literally nothing to publish and distribute a message. (now called content). The barrier to entry is low. Consequently there's a whole new industry of gurus who have sprung up around it.

For most business owners and marketing teams engaged in content marketing, it’s the sound of one hand clapping.

Lots of energy expended with little to no return.

No one is listening and few are buying. Many marketers are beginning to realize that content marketing isn’t the “secret sauce” to fast track new customers and clients proclaimed by the so-called tech experts of the Internet marketing world.

Although the promise and expectations for content marketing success remains high, most content is ignored.

Seemingly the more mobile platforms evolve, and the more addicted we become to them, the more desensitized to “content” we become.

For many people, deleting emails is an unconscious activity. Today people only comprehend a mere fraction of a sliver of the content that gets thrown at them through their devices. People have tuned out marketing messages and are numbed down by the sheer distraction of it all.

By now you’re wondering, if content marketing success is so elusive, why should anyone bother doing it at all? Let me suggest three good reasons for you not to give up on content marketing despite your current results.

Content marketing builds affinity with an audience.

Content marketing is not direct marketing.

If executed properly, driven by a higher strategy, content marketing builds relationships with an audience who shares the values your business represents. You’re not selling or promoting, your advancing and elevating the current condition of your audience.

It takes a very long time to establish the level of trust people must have in the authenticity and the quality of your message before they will buy from you. Banish the idea that content marketing is a quid pro quo activity. Content marketing is not selling.

Content marketing creates exponential referral possibilities.

Because of the sheer number of people hanging out in social media platforms, the possibilities that your ideas and point of view can spread like wildfire are endless.

You can’t possibly know (in direct quantifiable terms) where success will come from. Content marketing is a numbers game pure and simple.

The possibility and potential that a game changing customer or client will find their way to your business is infinite. You never know! New business success can come at any moment simply because your blog post was shared by a trusted source!

Content marketing will sharpen your creative thinking.

Creating content worthy of people’s attention is demanding and challenging.

At the beginning, your blog posts and videos may suck at little, but over time you will get better at it.

Your thinking and creativity will be enhanced simply by the process of creating content that helps people. Who cares if no one is listening at first!

The more content you create, the more ideas will flow to you, the more interesting and remarkable your business will become to people.

Indeed, it’s easy to become impatient and discouraged by the lack of immediate results.

Speaking for myself, I have been ready to throw in the towel on my own content marketing efforts many times.

I feel discouraged and then out of the blue, I’ll get an email from someone who read one of my posts and exclaimed that it inspired them to something better.

Whether I sell something or not is of no consequence. Content marketing is a slow series of little victories worthy of your time and effort. Even if your efforts are the sound of one hand clapping–don’t give up.


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