Does it feel like you’re reading, watching, and listening to more information than ever before? Have you gotten so overwhelmed in the digital age that you seek out times to put away your devices? Furthermore, have you ever wondered if this newfound quest to find some sense of calm amidst the flurry of information is just you or a shift in society? Maybe as an entrepreneur, you even went a few steps further and thought about how that yearning desire to distance yourself from digital information overload could actually be hurting your business’s content marketing ROI.  For those unaware, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Odds are your business’s relationship with content marketing fits into one these two scenarios:

  1. Your company is 7+ years old and you remember how much engagement your content used to get with little to no followers.  You are now frustrated that your followers have grown 10x but your engagement has dropped dramatically.
  2. Your company is a few years old and you have struggled to get a consistent engagement on your content and have not built a strong following.

If you didn’t guess from the introduction, we are indeed drowning in information.  According to the graph below, content marketing is currently in the “trough of disillusionment” phase and is set to plateau in the next 2 to 5 years.

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So why am I writing this article about content marketing if the space is overcrowded?  Simply put, there is still an extreme value left in content marketing if you’re able to look through the weeds and adjust your strategy.

Here is your game plan…

  1. Create content that is more about brand development and less about lead generation.  This sounds odd, right?  Why spend all this time creating content when you aren’t setting up direct methods to capture customer information?  Today, competition is stiff in many sports nutrition, fitness, and sports CPG categories.  That being said, a customer has a great deal of choices and information to sift through to make a purchase.  Do you really expect a customer is going to give you his/her information just for content about your company and products?  This content is ticket to “play ball” with the customer and you need to earn their trust first with engaging content.  Treat content like a free gift and you will be surprised in the long term how many sales come from it.
  2. Hire (or place in charge) the right people to do your content marketing.  A junior marketer, freelance rookie, or general writer should not to producing your materials.  Then who should?  I would suggest your brand or product manager, depending on how your business is structured.  The reason I suggest this is because the brand or product manager has the best high-level understanding of the competitive landscape and also the product.  This allows them to create content that is more engaging to the customer.
  3. Quality not quantity!  Going along with #2, brand or product managers will likely be very busy with a diverse set of work tasks.  Furthermore, brand or product managers will generally be good at prioritizing value. This skill set will carryover to this content marketing task.  They will create value with quality.  They will have a much different mindset than a junior marketer that has all the time in the world to pump out tons of content and hope something sticks.  This will pay dividends, i promise you.
  4. If your customer wouldn’t pay for the content you create, it is not valuable.  Content marketers have become skilled at optimizing for the lead generation, which the standard is most often, “Would someone give me an email address for this?” That’s a noticeably lower bar than actual money.  Create content that a customer would be willing to pay for!