The real trick to content marketing

On Foxtel’s 10th anniversary comedian Rove McManus joked that they weren't celebrating a decade of great TV but one year’s great television repeated 10 times.

If that’s Foxtel’s numerical formula then the Internet must be a case of great content repeated a thousand times.

I can remember sitting in an American hotel room nearly 20 years ago marvelling at the fact I could select from more than a hundred channels on my television.  Then, there was the sad realisation that even with that many channels I still couldn't find anything I really wanted to watch.

So when I hear content marketing or inbound touted as the answer to all your marketing woes excuse me if I am a little dubious.

Look, I agree with the concept.  Drawing people to your website with good content makes a lot of sense.  Go for it.  But there’s a qualifier in there – it’s gotta be good.  That’s an awful word so a better way of putting it is this:The content has got to have some value to the recipient.  Value could be measured in shared experience, expert advice or even a decent laugh.  But just loading up your website with bland, dull words or video is not enough. 

And here’s the rub: Good content takes time, effort and very often money.  And here we come back to the core issue that I suspect sits at the baseline of communications failure for many companies.  They’re just not prepared to spend.  They’ll invest in a new building, even in R&D but when it comes to communication – they just want it cheap.  Hire a kid out of university, build a cheap website and voila all your problems are solved – marketing magic happens.  Actually…something else happens…  This is a family show so I’ll leave you to work it out.