Sunday, April 7, 2013

How to Win the Content Marketing Arms Race

Research by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs indicates that nine out of ten B2B companies are now using content marketing in some form. While I don't believe that 90% of all B2B companies have full-blown content marketing programs in place, there's no longer any doubt that content marketing is becoming a core marketing tactic for many organizations.

The irony is that the popularity of content marketing is creating a new challenge for marketers. As more and more companies implement content marketing and create more and more content, it's becoming more difficult to make your content stand out.

Velocity Partners, a B2B content marketing agency based in the UK, addressed this challenge in a recent slide presentation. In Velocity's view, we're about to experience a deluge of marketing content, and most of this content will be, in their words, "crap." Velocity argues that this flood of bad content will cause people to raise their "marketing defense systems" and be less willing to trust any content.

I would argue that the greatest "threat" to effective content marketing is not a flood of content that is truly bad, but rather a growing volume of content that is just average - not good enough or different enough to stand out in a crowded field.

So, what can marketers do to win the content "arms race?" Velocity Partners says the answer is to develop consistently great content - content that will capture and hold the attention of your audience and differentiate your company from your competitors. In an earlier post, I called this blue ocean content, and this is the kind of content we should always aspire to create.

It's not realistic, however, to expect that every content resource we develop will be a masterpiece. As marketers, what we can do is demand that all our content resources provide real value to the people who consume them. To gauge the value of your content, ask yourself a few questions about each new content resource.
  • Does the resource identify and describe the causes and effects of an important, but previously unrecognized or under-appreciated problem or challenge?
  • Does the resource make the full ramifications of a known problem or challenge visible and understandable?
  • Does the resource provide new or distinctive perspectives regarding known problems or challenges?
  • Does the resource discuss a new or innovative solution for a problem or challenge?
  • Does the length of the resource match the importance of the topic addressed? Have I stretched a 300-word blog post into a 1,200-word article? Have I stretched a 2-page article into an 8-page white paper?


  1. Throughout my years in content marketing, I’ve seen two methods work the best when it comes to getting buy-in for new content marketing projects or additional budget for content marketing activities.

  2. Content marketing is important, but in this day and age it is imperative to include media marketing!

  3. Content marketing is a very crucial tactic these days and this post is a very useful one.

  4. Information advertising and marketing is very necessary, but in this point in time it can be more essential to add mass media marketing.

  5. Today's media marketing play an most important role for advertising.

  6. These days, content marketing is one of the essential tactics businesses use. Same goes for media marketing. Great post, very interesting.

  7. I think just doing content marketing "better" may not be enough. After all, isn;t your competitor having the same thinking? I used the same analogy (arms race) in a blog post - but with a different suggestion for how to win

  8. The key question, David, is how does one create better content. Jay Baer had an interesting idea on Marketing Made Simple TV. Stop trying to create awesome content and start being helpful.

    Good idea, Jay.l

    Jeff Ogden

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jeff! Perhaps we should say that the primary criterion for great/awesome content is usefulness.