The Death of Content Marketing (and what’s next)

It should not come as a surprise to anyone that content marketing has almost run its course.

How many ebooks and ‘top ten’ lists and infographics does anyone really need?

Personally, I suspect the publishing tool on this very social media network represents the death knell of content marketing.

When I think about content marketing what comes to mind is something someone once shared with me. They said: I have plenty of knowledge… it’s the application of knowledge I struggle with.

Sometimes I wonder how anyone has the time to read or even scan even a small portion of the content created on a daily basis.

The most troubling part for me is the fact that there is actually a lot of really great content out there already. As a content creator, I have to admit the fact that I am unlikely to produce anything unique or original actually takes away my motivation to produce more.

There are literally hundreds of articles and posts on my website.

I recently opened up my entire shared drive containing hundreds of tools, templates, and process documents.

What else is left to say?

The Writing is on the Wall

I invest countless hours studying the effectiveness of content marketing and can tell you the future is not pretty. Here’s what’s happening:

– Click through rates are anemic

– Form completions are pathetic

– Open rates for your newsletter are laughable

– Watch what happens when you ask for anything more than an email address

– In the last six months, I’ve tracked something I refer to as ‘immediate opt out’ because the individual opts-out immediately upon receiving your ‘free download.’

Introducing Conversation Marketing

Personally, I am happy to see the end of content marketing because it’s boring me to death.

The value of content marketing is inherently limited because it represents one-way communication.

While the stated purpose of content marketing is to educate, we all know that textbooks and lectures are the least effective method of learning.

Simply stated, marketing is responsible for:

1) attracting prospects

2) nurturing prospects through their learning process

3) transitioning prospects to sales (virtual or human) when they enter a buying process.

Using this definition, it stands to reason that the quality of marketing depends on the degree to which prospects can be engaged throughout this journey.

While content marketing is certainly more effective than advertising, it pales in comparison to any bi-directional conversation.

What’s Next?

The effectiveness of traditional content has already reached diminishing returns. As effectiveness declines, companies turn to cheaper sources of content creation which speeds the demise.

Instead of churning out articles and checklists and ebooks, marketing organizations will need invest in tools and technologies that enable them to have actual conversations with their prospects.

Most will dismiss the notion of conversation marketing as inefficient and unrealistic. These are probably the same folks who dismissed the notion of content marketing and are just now jumping on the bandwagon.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts below!

If you are curious how I am shifting my personal efforts to conversation marketing, you can click here.

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