Brands are quite familiar with the old 'spend money to make money' adage. But when it comes to content marketing investments, few companies are willing to give in order to get.For many marketers, content has become the prime source for increased customer engagement, as relevant content has the power to position brands as thought leaders within their given industry. Yet it's not hard to see that, in many instances, marketers have chosen to forego quality for quantity. Such companies are motivated by clicks, so they work to churn out as much content as possible in hopes that they'll attract enough eyeballs to boost revenue. But these marketers fail to recognize that these actions completely contradict the goals of successful content marketing in the first place.
At its core, content marketing aims to provide customers with added value that extends beyond transactional brand relationships. Such content typically relates to the goods or services the given company offers, enhancing the average experience with information and ideas that educate minds and encourage loyalty. Consumers come to trust these brands because they demonstrate their value in ways that bypass the overly promotional strategies of yesteryear. For example, many clothing retailers offer fashion advice, while food brands provide recipes and cooking tips. Not only does this content serve as indirect advertising, but it also organically boosts brand engagement.
Marketers that value clicks over quality, however, sensationalize their less than stellar content by playing off the consumer's curiosity. They write dramatic headlines to cap condescending articles that disregard the reader's true intelligence. They pump out piece after piece in order to keep their Twitter stream flowing with fresh media. They try to incorporate hot topics and news items that fail to resonate with their typical subject matter and audience.
Ultimately, these marketers abandon long-term engagement strategies to purse short-term clickbait opportunities. They believe they can sustain interest by presenting content in ways that spark curiosity even though such methods inevitably fail to deliver true value. To actually succeed, such companies must realign their mindset where content's concerned. They must stop thinking that this work can be mass-produced. Consumers are already swimming in an ocean of subpar content. It's easy for them to deduce that they've been duped, but it's even easier for them to turn to the competition. In the end, only relevant content of substance will stimulate the long-term engagement most marketers hope to achieve. Clickbait content may entice consumers at first, but only quality content will reel them in again and again.
To learn more about content marketing and optimization strategies, read our latest feature: The Future of SEO: What You Need to Know.