Today as we're celebrating my son's 2nd birthday, it struck me how similar content marketing is to parenting. Tom Webster wrote a great post this morning about when content marketing stops working that also validated that connection. Tom talks about how saturated many niches have become with content and various ways to work through that.
Several years ago, bloggers were like early explorers. We would find new land, stake our flag in the ground and automatically become the owner of that land – an expert if you will. In the last five years, the number of indexed pages on the Internet has grown from 1 trillion, to 30 trillion. Note how tiny the red circle below is now. It is much harder to win the content war in 2013. We've covered this in more detail recently, Why Your Content Marketing Strategy Needs To Get Out Of 2008.
It is exponentially more difficult if you're trying to do that by yourself or with a couple people. Which is very similar to parenting.
It takes a village to raise a child.
For those of us who are parents, this proverb rings true. Being a Dad is one of the things I'm most proud about. Every single day is different. Every day you learn something new. It is an extremely rewarding experience and a bond that is difficult to describe to those who aren't parents. Most of us have been in a situation where we're alone – without help – and things go wrong. This can easily make you a believer in the village approach.
The last time my wife was out of town for an extended period of time and I was playing the role of temporary single Dad, everything seemed to go wrong. A cold comes out of nowhere. That cough doesn't sound good… He fell off a ladder at the playground. His favorite toy broke. He didn't nap for the first time in months. He was hungry and I didn't prepare dinner ahead of time. It was a humbling experience that many people embrace on a daily basis. I have an incredible amount of respect for all parents – especially those carrying a heavier load of responsibility.
Having a village of support makes life much easier. Grandparents who can sub in for a few hours so you can go to the gym. A neighbor who can swing by and share a glass of wine with you. A sibling who can play with your child and give you time to take a shower.
Content marketing needs a village.
We all follow folks we consider to be experts in their field. They're unwavering with the amount of content they produce. Every post seems to be amazing. Their share and engagement metrics are through the roof. But, did you know that most of them have support structures in place? There are teams of writers. There are virtual assistants. There are editors. There are guest contributors. Many of the thought leaders we know and love actually have a strong support structure because they're fully aware of the challenging task ahead. Capturing attention and mindshare is no easy feat.
As marketers, we spend a lot of time creating content. We write. We hire people that write. We outsource people that write. We partner with industry leaders that write. We approach large firms for industry validation and may even pay them tens of thousands of dollars to write on our behalf. It is no easy task.
But, would you be surprised to learn that some of the data we're uncovering is that the low effort types of content are performing better in generating leads and conversions? The short posts, shares, customer stories, likes, videos, images and assets that are relatively easy to create are helping to fill up the funnel. We'll be sharing that data soon, but it confirms the notion that you need a village.
Empower your team to create content.
Instead of trying to have one person lead the charge, build a village. We have several posts that can help you get started:
- What is the "Best" Content Marketing Strategy? (Similar Situation Stories)
- 4 Ways to Motivate Employees to Write Content
- Are You Forcing Shares? 3 Ways to Create Genuine Content
- Employee Blogging: Three Reasons to Make it Happen
- But I Have Nothing to Say
Lastly, this little guy helped inspire this post and he has a big birthday party tomorrow (he's getting a bike and a toy golf set, keep it a secret).