How Google is making content marketing harder and what to do about it

Share

When you’re a small content marketer, you rely on content aggregators like Google and Facebook to help you reach interested consumers. There’s just one problem with that.

Google doesn’t care about you.

Nor does Facebook.

Nor Twitter.

Sorry to tell you, but unless you’re paying BIG ad dollars social sites and search engines have no interest in helping you distribute your content or market your business.

How big players like Google and Facebook are making content marketing harder

I read a great article about Google’s slow march toward self-contained content. Although Google once existed only to list/recommend other websites, many top search results are now directing people back to the Google family of products.

Can you guess what the primary motivating factor is behind this change? Yep. 💰Money💰. The longer people stay within the Google framework, the more data Google can collect (on you) and the more ads they can show—which translates into more money for Google shareholders.

The same holds true for other social sites like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Of course, it’s not just about selling ads. These sites are also under increasing pressure from regulators, advertisers, and the general public to police the content on their platforms—a seemingly impossible task that is guaranteed to take down legitimate content creators as collateral damage. (Just look at what happened with YouTube’s adpocalypse. It did nothing to curb ad-fuelled creepy kids’ videos or prevent Logan Paul from making an ass of himself but it did chase some awesome content creators away from the platform.)

What else is making content marketing harder?

Even without the problem of social and search sites favoring some content (especially their own) over others, content marketing would still be harder today than ever before.

Because, competition.

Now and then, someone will come out with an infographic showing just how much content is published on the Internet every minute. I won’t quote any specific numbers here (they’ll be outdated by the time I hit publish) but they are ridiculously large.

This means the odds of a potential customer finding your needle of content in the haystack of the Internet is—well—like finding a needle in a haystack.

But you don’t get to quit on content marketing

Does this mean you should give up? Stop creating content and forget about social media marketing and SEO?

No it does not. Especially if you want your business to succeed.

I think Rand Fishkin put it best in this fantastic tweetstorm:

The lesson is that you can’t be complacent with your marketing. The tactics that worked 10, 5, or even 1 year ago will not continue to deliver the same results over time.

One key that will help you succeed at content marketing for the foreseeable future

The one trend that has continued unabated since the invention of cable television is the fracturing of the marketplace into ever more niche segments.

In other words, in the age of Mad Men, you could create marketing content that targeted “housewives.”  In today’s world, “married women between the ages of 24 and 40” is too broad. No, now you need to know that your customer is “a 30-something woman who prefers organic vegan food but will ultimately buy whatever her picky 4-year-old and barbeque-loving husband will both eat.”

Why?

Because the key to succeeding in an ever-more crowded marketplace is audience segmentation and personalization.

Download The Customer Profile Worksheet for free

Think about it this way. If all you know about your customers is that they are “married women between the ages of 24 and 40” and your product is cooking utensils, you might try getting their attention with a book of recipes. But let’s be honest, that’s been done to death. You won’t stand out.

But if you narrow your focus to married, vegan women who have to feed barbeque-loving husbands and picky kids, then you can present far more personalized solutions: “10 BBQ recipes they’ll never suspect are vegan” or maybe “Playful vegan recipes that will please the pickiest toddler.”

(These examples are just off the top of my head. I’m sure you can come up with better ones and share them with me in the comments below.)

Content marketing isn’t dead, but generic content is

[Content marketing] is the only marketing left” -Seth Godin
Is creating this kind of personalized content hard. Hell yeah, it is!

But way back in 2008 Seth Godin was quoted as saying “[content marketing] is the only marketing left.

This sentiment reflects the fact that consumers are sick of marketing BS. They are increasingly savvy to marketing “tricks” and “hacks” and will pay money to avoid ads. In this environment, it’s not hype that will win your customers’ trust and attention. It’s providing specific solutions to individual problems. Put another way, personalized content marketing is what will win you happy customers.

Order Now: Your Playbood for Personalized Content

Share

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: