Content marketing is a crucial tool in digital marketing. But, everybody’s doing it. What are current content marketing trends and how do you stand out in the noise? Jay Acunzo has built a media company Unthinkable Media from the hugely successful podcast. He knows content marketing. He candidly talks from an expert’s point of view why expert advice won’t make your campaign successful.
THE TROUBLE WITH CONTENT MARKETING
Content marketing is invaluable in digital marketing. But effective online content marketing has to stand out from the noise. Few stand out.
The problem of noise isn’t a new one. It’s been a problem since the printing press. “This is just a human problem,” explains Jay. The solution is to stand out from the noise. Marketers need to ensure their content breaks through from the sameness of the market and gets noticed.
DON’T TRUST BEST PRACTICES
To stand out, we look to best practices from people who do stand out.
But best practices are not content marketing solutions. “The danger is that best practices is something that works on average, but we don’t aspire to be average. Or something that works in general, but we don’t operate in a generality.”
Average and generality don’t stand out amongst the noise. Leave the blueprint behind. The solution is to observe the situation in front of you. Look to your own customers and your own team for the best content.
Jay advises to “focus on self and situational awareness, not expertise.” No expert will tell you where in your own organization to find the best content marketing ideas. Only you can do so.
Understanding the core assumptions and shortcomings behind broader concepts allows you to be choosy in picking which trends in marketing to follow and which to forget later on.
THREE KEY CONTENT MARKETING QUESTIONS
Instead of obsessing over someone else’s answers to your digital marketing questions, the key is to start asking the right questions. Jay has developed key questions to develop the right content for your own company:
1. For your team: What’s your team’s aspirational anchor?
Find a simple statement which combines your company’s intent for the future and a hunger or dissatisfaction in the world today.
2. For your customers: What is your first foundational truth about what they’re really struggling with?
For example, nobody buys a better pillow. They buy a better night’s sleep. What is your customer’s real concern?
3. For your resources: What are your constraints?
The best ideas come from places of real limitation. So, define your resource constraints.
STORYTELLING IN MARKETING
One of the best content marketing trends involves storytelling. Storytelling has become a buzz word, but it’s still an essential content marketing tool. However, many marketers miss one essential piece:
All stories have three elements:
- The status quo
- The conflict
- The resolution
Digital marketers mostly focus on the status quo and the product as the resolution. But, without the conflict, the story isn’t interesting or convincing to the reader. Add conflict to be persuasive in your content marketing.
MAKE YOUR OWN PODCAST
Along with adding conflict to your storytelling, Jay suggests the idea of creating podcasts and shows as opposed to independent segments of content. Anyone with a $30 microphone and basic content marketing ideas can make a podcast, but it takes original thought and storytelling for online content marketing to be successful.
According to Jay, a good podcast show reveals real human emotion and hooks the audience. Importantly, a good show requires talented contributors. There is no substitution for quality work!
- Don’t look to experts for a content strategy. Look to your team, your customers, and your resources.
- Current marketing trends and best practices work on average, but your content can’t be average and be found among the noise.
- Add conflict to your brand storytelling to have more persuasive content marketing.
- Question everything. Don’t assume experts’ best practices are best for your content marketing.
- Distill down to its first principle of what pain your business is trying to solve. This analysis will produce the best content.
- Always ask why. Become an obnoxious child in the backseat of your mom’s van: “Why? Why? Why?” until you have a core understanding of your team, your customer, and your resources.