If You’re Not Content Marketing, You are Not Marketing

You might be saying “I just want more clients.” but unless you’re acting like it too, it’s an empty wish. The main reason companies don’t have all the clients they want is they aren’t communicating authentically with the full range of their potential audience. Often they sound like a flyer handed to someone on the street rather than a conversation that takes place with a handshake. Content marketing is about transforming a company’s communications in everyone’s favor.

Content Reaches a Broader Audience than Pitches and Promotions.

Thinking only one step ahead is a key blind spot in a lot of businesses, who churn out more pitches and promotions than useful content people can actually apply and act on regardless of whether they choose your services or products. Content that advises, provides insight, coaches, and leads solidifies you as the clear experts in your field, the right choice for now and the obvious choice eventually. It respects prospective clients regardless of where they are in the process. Content reaches prospects looking for now, thinking about their issues, exploring, browsing, or looking on behalf of another party as a referral. Trolling only for the immediate buyer is advertising, which is necessarily less effective in setting up a sustainable pipeline of leads over time.

Content Has Search Engine Value.

Companies that reach desperately for an un-earned place in search engines that favor content are destined to be unsuccessful in digital marketing, because they’re not respecting how search engines are actually designed. Google, for instance, sells ads and, if you just want an ad listing, buy one – and prepare to keep paying at a fairly brisk rate per click with lower conversion rates. If you want better treatment in the coveted organic content section of search results, produce organic content. Google is primarily a content engine, which is why the freshness, frequency, and social response to content has such a disproportionate impact. Even though Google sells ads, it knows that searchers skip ads in favor of organic content more often than not, which is why they aren’t just an ad engine for business listings. Organic content also costs you nothing, and that plus greater reach means the ROI (return on investment) is higher.

Content Gives You a Way to Market in ALL Digital Channels.

Not using Twitter, or Pinterest, Slideshare, or Youtube? Once you’ve created flexible, fresh content for your blog, it’s a few extra steps to turn it into tweets, pins, slides, and videos. The main reason companies are not involved in multi-channel marketing is that they’re not already producing fresh content frequently and consistently in any one channel. It all looks daunting when you’re not doing anything. To those already in motion, a digital strategy of cross-channel content marketing is a natural process that comes easily.

Content Brings You Back to Authenticity – to Being Who You Are.

Promotions and pitches make you sound like everyone else. Is it any wonder your company is insufficiently differentiated? It’s not a need for better ad copy, it’s too much focus on ad copy. Content marketing is you standing in the shoes of your audience and helping them regardless of where they are in the consumer process – giving in order to get. It’s inherently authentic as a methodology, and allows and encourages you to be authentic in the content itself. Content is about reaching people, where pitches place you in a more adversarial role, trying to get them to act with insufficient motivation based on an existing relationship. Pitches come off as slyness or groveling, where content marketing restores integrity to a company’s dialogue with their market.

You’re Behind, if You’re Treating Content Marketing as Something New.

Ever had a teenager tell you about a ‘cool new song’ that was actually a hit three decades earlier? Goth metal band Type O Negative didn’t make a hit of Summer Breeze in 1997 – that was Seals and Crofts in 1972. Even the t-shirts and slang are the same. Just because you’re new to something, doesn’t mean it’s new. Content marketing has been the rule since the turn of the millennium, with Google itself purchasing content platform Blogger in 2003, and Google algorithms routinely favoring it with updates in 2005, 2010, 2011, and 2013. If you’re wondering “do I really need to do this, or is it a fad?” it’s probably not just your web site that’s content poor – you probably were or are a decade late getting involved in Twitter, too. It’s not a fad, and endlessly waiting to see if it matters is a mistake. It’s easier to think it’s not needed if you’re not doing it; it reinforces the inactivity and insulates us from the nagging feeling that we need to learn something new. Even if it were true that you don’t need to do it, you’ve been presented with stadium-sized audiences with whom you can extend your company reach, reputation, and relationships – why wouldn’t you do it? You have enough clients already?

You might be pitching and promoting, but that doesn’t mean you’re marketing, or marketing as effectively as you could be. Content is just a word; it’s really having something valuable to say and contribute and discuss with actual people who are past being ‘sold’ to, and expect a more authentic level of engagement on a personal level. Content marketing is the best decision your company can make to ensure its sustainable growth.

Get help with content marketing by contacting MadPipe. You aren’t supposed to do it entirely on your own. It’s like walking into court without an attorney, or handling an audit without your accountant. Expertise gets you on the ground faster, and averts a lot of the aborted takeoffs that happen without a coach in your corner.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.

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