All companies now find themselves in two industries: the business they are actually in, and the publishing business. The death of the information intermediary is upon us, and companies need to tell their own story with speed and aplomb.
But let’s not go overboard. Yes, you’re in the publishing business, but only as a means to an end. You should be using content as a way to generate new sales or maintain current customers. You do not benefit directly from content creation because you’re not in the eyeball accumulation ad advertising industry. You benefit from content creation indirectly.
This is widely misunderstood. The rise of content marketing has unfortunately spawned a side effect, which is content creation for content creation’s sake. It’s a colossal waste of company resources, and may become pervasive enough to trigger a widespread backlash against the proposition of content marketing.
Creating content that does not cause action is a fool’s errand, period. And that too often is the case.
It’s About Action, Not Eyeballs
My advice – as I discussed at last week’s outstanding Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland – is to identify what specific behavior(s) you want your content consumers to take post consumption, and build content that creates predilection toward those actions.
Essentially, you should be turning your content creation process upside down. Worry less about what content you can create and which stories you can tell, and worry more about how you want to turn content consumption into leads, sales, and advocacy. Once you have a handle on that optimal behavior funnel, THEN create content that makes that funnel a reality.
Work backwards to make your content marketing program a driver of revenue, not just page views.