In the bad old days, you know, before content marketing transformulated the way everybody must do business, advertising was a bit like this fellow here. Superficially (super-fishily?) attractive with a lot of shiny promise but a bloody great hook stuck at the end to reel in the unwary.
Now it looks like this (we are told by the content marketing gurus).
Look! A real fish! One you can actually eat. It’s an article or a video or an infographic. Anyway it tastes delicious. But hang on a minute, what’s this? Where’s the hook?
Apparently, our customer is so grateful for the free fish that she will swim right into our landing net without any of that nasty old hooking and thrashing about business.
Well, maybe. But just as likely, she will swim off until the next time she wants a free snack.
Now, don’t get me wrong. This isn’t her fault. But nor is it necessarily in her interests either. She has a bigger hunger than can be satisfied with a couple of whitebait. She needs a big chunky cod.
But that’s going to cost money and we forgot to ask her for any.
I think what we need is a bit of the old hardware with the new real bait surrounding it.
Or, in other words, a good old-fashioned call to action.
So when you’re next creating or deploying some content on your site, remember that the most important word in ‘content marketing’ is ‘marketing’. And the most important word in the definition of ‘marketing’ is ‘profitable’.
That means bringing in more money than you’re spending and that calls for something even more old fashioned than advertising: selling.