You Ask, I Answer: Changes in Content Marketing?

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You Ask, I Answer: Changes in Content Marketing?

In today’s episode, Brian asks, “how have things changed since you started content marketing?”

You Ask, I Answer: Changes in Content Marketing?

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Christopher Penn 0:13

In today’s episode, Brian asks, how have things changed since you started content marketing? Well, gosh, I mean, when doing marketing of some kind with content before it content marketing existed as a term, right? My first podcast was 2005.

It was 934 episodes, my first website that I created to share information with people and to attract people to join a business was 1994.

So things have changed a lot since 1994.

Right? Things have changed a lot and almost 30 years of marketing.

And it’s easier, I think, to focus on what hasn’t changed.

Right? What are the things that have not changed about content marketing, people want to be educated, people want to be entertained, people want to be engaged.

And people want things that are faster, cheaper, and better.

Right? People want better service than ever, they want faster service than ever, and they want to pay less and less for it.

And so we’ve seen, content marketing, and all marketing evolve along those lines, right., when you think about it really is just a giant content marketing site, right? You don’t actually get anything from the Amazon website.

It’s just a big, big, big pile of content that you use to then buy stuff from the Amazon logistics company.

And you know, somebody drops it off and flings it at your door.

But the mechanism for that sale is content.

It’s the products, the images, it’s the reviews, the stars, the ratings, whether it’s a prime item or not.

And then the purchasing system you’re trying to make purchasing as seamless as possible.

And Amazon’s relentless focuses on reducing friction.

In the purchase process, how can we make it so easy to buy something that you might just buy things accidentally? Right? You have one of these smart assistants on your desk, and by accident? You yell out something in the air? And he says, Sure, I’ll buy that for you.

What things are you doing in your content marketing that align with those trends? Right? I’m talking for a while now mobility is one of the most impactful trends of the last 30 years, right? In 2007 Steve Jobs, releasing the iPhone change how people interact with the world, right? The accurate joke is that this thing is the remote control for reality.

Right with this device, you can swipe right and have meals and food delivered and furniture and a date and medical tests you name it.

That’s what consumers expect.

So how does your content marketing fit into that? Is your content marketing so easy to consume that it’s act you know, it’s so good accidentally you just summon it, or someone have to go hunt it down? Right one of the biggest mistakes that content marketers have made over the last 10 years in particular is building their content on rented land like Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIn or any of these these social media services or publishing services.

Because you have no control over the distribution mechanism.

And as more and more of those services have focused on advertising revenue, and delivering better and better numbers to Wall Street, our content is being seen less and less, and it’s not being delivered to our consumers, they have to go get it.

On the other hand, if you have something like text messaging, or slack or discord or an email marketing list, you’re still able to frictionlessly deliver your content to the intended audience.

Now, they may or may not have time to read it.

But if your content is high enough quality, they will invest the time for it.

But if the barrier to entry is higher than ever to get it to them.

You’re not in alignment with the trends that consumers inspect.

Expect consumers want stuff handed to them, right people don’t want to think and they don’t want to work.

us especially for entertainment, especially for education.

They want things to appear instantaneously in front of them.

Christopher Penn 5:00

So that’s really, if there’s anything that’s majorly changed, it’s that people no longer feel the need to go out and get content.

Right? The, they want to be able to subscribe to a show on YouTube or subscribe to a podcast or subscribe to a newsletter, and just have it appear, like, hey, notifications appeared new thing.

Great, I can go consume my new thing.

As marketers, we don’t have a lot of share of mind anymore.

We don’t, there’s too many other things competing for our audience’s attention.

Right? When this device holds all the world’s entertainment in the palm of your hand.

The barrier to entry for us is getting a consumer to change their behavior.

Getting consumer to do something different to proactively go and get content, as opposed to just having it delivered to them like it was an Amazon package.

How far do you have to go to get something from Amazon to your front door? Right? You may not even need to put clothes on.

I mean, you should but versus having to require somebody to get up, get in the car or get on the bus or the train or whatever, and go somewhere and get the thing.

That’s what we’ve done with content marketing, by putting it in places like you know, Facebook, where a consumer has to remember to find us to look for us.

It’s no different than search, right? A consumer has to search for us by name.

We’re making them do a lot of work.

How do we get to them in a way that precludes having them work? Right? That’s there when they want us there? It’s there before they want us there just moments before? You know you’re thinking about, gosh, what am I going to have for lunch today and the email arrives, or a text message goes off? Or an app notification goes off? That says hey, order from your local Chinese restaurant today? Here’s the manual.

Here’s the special.

And it’s timed using AI and predictive analytics and all sorts of cool data.

So that the moment you’re thinking about Hmm, okay, and look, here’s an option.

And I don’t have to think like, that sounds good.

I’ll do that instead.

Right? That’s how you win.

Disney is the master of that when you go to someplace like the Magic Kingdom.

And you take the operations tour, which is really cool.

And you see the magic behind the scenes, like when and how audio is played and how it follows you through the park and how those magic bracelets work and how even the aromas that are put into the air are calculated to encourage sales of meals and foods.

Some people will call it a manipulation it probably is.

But I would say that is content being delivered to the consumer matched with their expectations exactly when the consumer wants it.


That’s the bar we all have to meet.

So ask yourself, how well is your content distribution aligned to what the consumer expect? Is it mobile first? Is it proactive? So the consumer doesn’t have to think? Right? And is it frictionless where the consumer doesn’t have to work to get your content? If you’re not aligned with those three trends, your content market is going to suffer

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