November 13, 2013 by Stephanie Janard
If there is one profession that should understand above all others that messaging matters, it’s the field of marketing. So why on earth have we all collectively agreed to label our messaging as “content” – which brings to mind nothing more than inert filler, largely there just to take up space?
If you don’t think buying into this phrase won’t have an actual effect on your messaging, just look at some of the advice out there from the “content marketing” experts.
Over and over I see the suggestion that marketers repurpose older web copy and blog posts to use for other “content marketing” pieces like brochures and white papers. Never does this recommendation remind marketers to heed the target audience’s current stage in the buying process, the audience’s level of technical understanding, or for that matter, any other qualifiers.
No, this is standalone advice, often among the first offered, which is giving marketers the impression that as long as they put something out there for prospects to read on a regular basis, the qualified leads will follow.
That’s a perception that just cheapens the value of your marketing message. And if you don’t value your own message, do you honestly think prospects will?
Incidentally, it also makes the deadly mistake of over-estimating the ease of capturing your prospects’ interest.
Here’s another irony: one of the key jobs of a marketing communications professional is to bring clarity to a subject, yet confusion reigns in the field as to what “content” marketing actually means. Really, ask a number of marketers to define the phrase. I assure you, you’re going to get a number of different answers.
The term is just a vague and vapid generality; nothing more. And as a writer, that especially makes me shudder.