I’ve really ramped up my content marketing activities in the past six months and have learned a lot. I try to share what I find as I find it, mainly as a way to keep track of all of it myself. The best way to follow along is my Twitter feed, but I’m also starting to use content curation services such as Meddle and Scoop, to test drive them and to share/save content.
I’ve picked up a lot of this information by zeroing in on the people creating content about content marketing – and boy, there are a lot of them! Or should I say, there are a lot of us. It doesn’t take long to realize that there is a flood of very good and value-add information being pumped out every day by content marketers. Some of the hashtags you can follow include #communications, #marketing, #mediarelations, #crisiscommunications, #publicspeaking, #newswriting, #pr, #contentmarketing, #investorrelations, #goodwriting, #socialcontent, #spokesperson, #socialmedia and #prtips.
The problem I’m seeing is that the vast majority of the content about content marketing is written by marketers and ultimately only for marketers.
This would be a serious problem if content marketing weren’t the future of business communication. One way or the other, everything companies do and say will be online in some fashion, and that means there is and will be a growing business function of creating, curating and updating content, and interacting online with stakeholders.
It’s just that in my experience, it’s largely only the communications and marketing people who are talking about this, not only on Twitter and other social media, but in business generally. This means there is a huge opportunity in taking this valuable content marketing information into specific industry verticals, from aerospace to zinc mining.
How can we spread the word beyond the marketing community? Here are some actionable ideas:
- Dump the marketing-speak: I know it’s hard for us to stop using jargon, but if we want people outside marketing to understand us, we need to speak their language, not ours. We also need to slowly educate those outside the communications functions about the tools, technologies and tactics of content marketing.
- Understand the needs of specific verticals: While many content marketing techniques translate across sectors, there are usually details and cultures that are specific to each industry. Those details, ranging from regulatory issues to industry history, may be the unspoken roadblocks to wide adoption of content marketing.
- Spread the word beyond marketing: We content marketers need to be evangelists for our job function. Everyone knows Google, and most people understand that scoring good search rankings on Google is a top priority for businesses. We’re the people with the power and knowledge to make that happen. We should be more vocal about it.
The best part of this story is that in my experience, non-marketers are generally very happy to have content marketing explained to them in plain language. So now you know what to talk about at your next backyard barbecue this summer!