Content marketing – stop blaming the club

I know I am as guilty of this as the next person.  You hit a beautiful drive off the tee and are sitting with the perfect angle into the green. You take a couple practice swings, address the ball, set, and swing… for some odd reason the ball goes way right, and what do we almost always do?   Look at the club head as if it were bent, or had a huge chunk of mud on it, anything to take the blame away from the swing.

The same can be said about content marketing – especially when it comes to product content.

Every year some content marketing study comes out highlighting the most effective types of content for B2B, and I swear every year the list looks virtually the same.  The most effective content tends to be the most tried and true: case studies and white papers, while formats like social media posts, blogs, and videos fall lower on the list.

Begging the question: should we be looking less at the club (the content) and more at the swing (the buyer’s journey)?

There is such a thing as bad content because every year content marketing studies say “producing engaging content” remains the #1 challenge.  And, there’s the answer – engaging content. Engaging content is content that takes the buyer from one stage of their journey to the next. The format (white paper, case study, video, blog) is irrelevant.

So what is engaging content? I don’t know…that depends on your buyer and your product. What information does your buyer persona want is based on where they are in their buyer’s  journey?  Are you providing engaging content on the front end of the journey, then losing them later?  Losing them later means your product content strategy is flawed. Too many of us focus on grabbing buyer’s attention with brand, thought leadership, and awareness-centric content and not enough on what buyers ultimately want and need:  product content.

I love the movie Jerry Maguire, but please stop focusing on “having them at hello” only to lose buyers where they need you most – solving their pain.