Why Paying For Content Is Like Paying For Sex

Funnel Graphic - 1 For Content Marketing

Are you looking for a long-term relationship or a moment of passion?

Content marketing, inbound marketing, SEO, marketing automation, social media marketing, and all of these things are the same thing.
They’re long-term commitments to building a community aligned around your cause– what you stand for.

I get requests for people who want to pay me to let them guest post their spammy article on one of our sites.
If your content is good, you won’t have to pay me to promote it. In fact, I’ll promote your stuff on my dime if it’s good.

And there are conferences that cold call us, wanting to charge us to speak.

We had nearly 30 conferences last year that paid us to speak to a great audience, so why would we pay?

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t run Facebook or Linkedin ads. There’s a difference between “amplification” of great content versus shameless advertising of promotional material. With amplification, you’re paying social postage to reach influencers– buying stamps, if you will. With advertising, you’re treating customers as targets who need to be pried of their wallets.

Mike McEuen shared the following insights:

“Outsourced writers often don’t understand the true audience, instead taking creative liberties. This produces a cookie-cutter piece that falls flat – resulting in low lead counts and high engagement costs. The audience knows they’re being duped.”

You don’t know if the content has been used before.

You have no idea what the going rate is for freelancers.

You don’t know who owns the content.

If you treat your marketing efforts as a relationship of multiple stages: first date, courtship, first kiss, marriage, etc, then you stage your marketing accordingly.
The AEC (audience, engagement, conversion) funnel enables you to do that.
It’s segmentation and personalization– tying your content to the right audience.

Funnel Graphic - 2 For Content Marketing

There’s no way some random freelancer can randomly insert themselves into your conversation to say something relevant.
The drive-by marketer is painfully obvious to spot, though she believes she’s taking a clever shortcut.

In B2B, the problem is more severe, since the funnel stages are longer and buyers more sophisticated.
You might have some great whitepapers, blogs, and product releases to share on your site or LinkedIn.
But unless you time their delivery by the type of customer and where they are in the relationship with you, you’re an inadvertent spammer.

No amount of LinkedIn geek ads knowledge of bidding and targeting will save you if you don’t have your strategy in place.
In other words, GCT (clear goals, relevant content, and target audiences).

AJ Wilcox provided his thoughts:

“Though the targeting on LinkedIn advertising is fantastic, it rarely compensates for failure to create a cohesive content and audience plan that delivers the correct message to that audience. A spray-and-pray strategy is no strategy at all.”

You don’t know if the content has been used before.

You have no idea what the going rate is for freelancers.

You don’t know who owns the content.

Buying tools won’t make you a pro content marketer any more than an amateur with the finest clubs will improve his slice.
Outsourcing this tricky issue to agencies won’t help either, though they can help you fine-tune messaging and technical optimization.
The content you produce must come from the heart– the WHY of your business.

That’s hard.
And only you can do it.

Are you paying for content or are you investing in your brand.

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