We’re committed to the belief that a strategic content marketing plan provides significant benefits to marketers. Yet, I’ve spoken with some marketers who tell me they have no use for content marketing — and I absolutely agree with them! Creating or curating valuable, compelling content as a means to attract and retain customers isn’t necessarily the right move for every organization. So if any of the following four scenarios applies to your business, you are hereby exempt from pursuing a content marketing plan:
1. You have a truly astonishing product
Let’s be honest: If you are Apple, or electric-car manufacturer Tesla, your customers already create your content for you. But the same might hold true for the tiny burger joint down the street — you know, the one that has customers lining up around the block every night. Why? In most cases, it is because their products are so unique, so amazing, and so universally desirable, that word-of-mouth (or click) marketing just happens without requiring much action or influence from the company itself.
Likewise, if you are a brand like Facebook, your customers are already actively marketing your product simply by using it every day, in a way that everyone can easily observe.
If you have an amazing product that people can’t help but use, promote, and evangelize, you might not need content marketing.
It may be worth noting, though, that Apple has been incredibly successful with its “Apple Camps,” where the company teaches kids how to become mini movie producers. And, Google — an enterprise that you wouldn’t think needs to employ content marketing at any stage in its buyer’s process — developed both Zero Moment of Truth and the Google Think Insights online magazine (which, incidentally, won a Content Marketing Award for best publication in 2012).
2. You have a ton of money to spend on advertising
If this is the case, I congratulate you (though why you wouldn’t want to develop your own audience of content fans anyway is beyond me. But I digress…). For large enterprises, developing a content marketing plan can be an incredibly challenging endeavor. Comparatively, advertising (even given the current business landscape) is much easier (sorry advertisers).
3. You aren’t interested in growing your business
One of my best friends owns a “lifestyle company”… meaning he is happy with the number of customers he has, and the pace of his business is manageable enough for him to spend a lot of quality time with his family. He doesn’t want his business to grow.
I have talked to him many times about the creation of a blog, or leveraging social media, or possibly distributing a targeted print newsletter. None of that interested him because if he landed another customer, it might upset the balance he’s achieved, and that wouldn’t make him happy. If you are of a similar mindset, fine: No content marketing for you!
4. You know every one of your customers personally
I know some distributors who talk to all of their customers on a daily basis. Though I could still make the case here that content marketing might be helpful, when you can count the number of your customers on two hands, you probably don’t need to invest your time and money on creating content.
For everyone else…
So there you have it: If your business is truly amazing, has loads of cash on hand, doesn’t need to grow, or has very few customers, you don’t need content marketing — at least, not until one of these situations changes (but considering how stable economies and industries are across the globe these days, you’ll probably never need to worry about that, right?).
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