Content Marketing Advice: Stop Competing with My Children!

KELLER LOVES PLAYING IN THE LEAVESToday, marketers are locked in a battle for attention. As individuals, we are flooded with more marketing messages than we can consume. Getting our attention requires something exceptional.

To date, the currency that purchases our attention is content. Content that is useful and connects with our priorities, content that entertains, content that teaches. Content that offers us something beyond your brand and message.

However, content is merely the vehicle. The future of marketing is about attention. Attention that today is focused on our priorities at work and at home. Priorities that include current projects, long term plans and a hug from our children when we get home.

Your Content Cannot Compete with My Children

My children get my available attention. Yes, I enjoy discussing the latest marketing trends or if marketing really is dead (no, but it has changed so much it might as well be).

However, at the end of the day, my children coming around the corner when I come in the door matter far more.

As a marketer, you should already know this. But somehow, marketers don’t act like they know it. Marketers are competing for attention instead of helping us focus our attention on our priorities.

Here are five mistakes content marketers continue to make:

  • Content that consumes my time. For me, live webcasts are a format of last resort. Blog posts or articles are best. Attention is limited, your content needs to deliver within increasingly limited attention spans.
  • Content that isn’t mobile friendly. I’m a heavy mobile content consumer (when I’m not writing a post on my phone, like I am right now). Mobile-friendly content is increasingly key.
  • Content all about you. We give our attention to our priorities. Until your solution is our priority, it will not get our attention.
  • Hiding content about you. Once your solution finally is our priority, make it easy to find content about your solution! As a media buyer, it baffles me when publishers put a media kit behind a registration form, and then send the kit via email a day later. When I want information about your product, deliver it or lose your opportunity.
  • Expecting a one hit wonder. We are overwhelmed by the number of choices. Become one of the few that consistently delivers and we will activity seek you out. The alternative is fighting to be discovered every time among the sea of content choices.

Your content needs to respect the limited attention we give it and meet our needs, so we can return our attention to our real priorities.

Your Turn

What other mistakes do content marketers make today? Share your additions in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

Image Credit: JOPHIELsmiles on flickr, capturing the joy of children.

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  • You make good points, Eric.  Boring & repetitive content is ubiquitous with everyone trying to outdo each other on the topic du jour.  As well, many marketers tend to get stuck on buzz words and phrases…surely there are more creative and imaginative ways to say the same things?  

    • Yes. Yet traditionally marketing has put immense value on creativity! However, the research I’ve seen at least points to this being a recognized problem that marketers are working on, so hopefully content will improve. Now if marketers will also create it for efficiency in the attention it requires…

      Thanks for reading taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!

  • Eric – perhaps a nursery rhyme to reinforce your point. Bad content is child’s play!
    I am content, see the nonsense I spout.
    All about my sponsor, just hear me shout.Hard to build Kred and scarce with any Klout.
    Wish they’d done some homework ‘fore they let me out.

    • I will read it to my kids! Love it, thanks for adding the creative touch.

  • Chris Sietsema

    Great post, Eric. Couldn’t agree more with all five mistakes you identify here. If I were to add a sixth, it might be content that isn’t easily shared (simple design, sharing buttons, ‘share’ call to action). Similar to your note about content that isn’t easy to find, content that can’t easily be shared may prove to be a hurdle for its creator.  Plus, those who aren’t measuring the degree to which content is consumed and shared are likely headed for trouble.

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