Why We’re Setting the Bar Way Too High in the Content Marketing Industry

by Marcus Sheridan

setting the bar too high

As I was drifting in cyberspace the other day, I came across a Google + comment that went something like this:

“I’m sick and tired of seeing the same content again and again. Just stop it already. If someone else has said it, you don’t need to say it too.  So unless you’re going to add some value to the conversation, don’t hit publish!”

Let me firmly drive my stake in the ground by saying this is the dumbest, most counter-productive marketing advice I’ve ever heard, and sadly it’s being advocated by many in the world of content marketing today. For some rather odd reason, it seems to be cool to play the “content marketing police” these days, which is why I feel prompted to remind those that espouse this belief that they’ve grossly lost their way—in my opinion.

To make my point, let’s just look at the facts for a minute:

1. Since the beginning of time, man has repeated what man has already said.

2. Since the beginning of time, man did not “come out the womb” with the ability to write and communicate with incredible proficiency. For the masses, this has meant that “practice makes better.”

3. Since the beginning of time, the process of putting one’s thoughts to pen has helped man distill his or her thoughts, beliefs, doctrines, etc.

4. Since the beginning of time, what was “good content” for some was “bad content” for others. In other words, these things we call “opinions” are as old as dirt itself.

The 4 facts above will never change. They will never go away.  And they’re as applicable today  as they’ve ever been.

And they’re incredibly relevant to that thing we like to call “content marketing.”

Content Marketing is an Equal Opportunity Employer

As I look at this industry, I see something interesting happening:

Some leaders in this space are pushing the expectation bar too high, causing a “rich get richer and poor get poorer” phenomena.

Personally, when I talk and teach about content marketing done right, I want the message to be such that anyone reading or listening feels they can take part in the game. And not only do I want them to feel like they can take part, but also that they can make a huge difference—ultimately impacting whatever thing/niche/industry they decide to verbalize their thoughts about.

The bottom line is content marketing is an equal opportunity employer.

For every Coke, there is a River Pools and Spas.

Both are doing great things—in their own way—by the means in which they’re able. That’s why I think we need to shine more light on the “little guys” doing big things in this industry. This is what the common person and business owner needs to hear. This is what they need to read about. This is what will make them nod their head and say, “Yes, we can do this too.”

So let’s be willing to embrace imperfection, shall we? Let’s allow the artist to learn as he or she goes. Let’s applaud what appears to be “mediocrity” when in reality the piece of art that was created may just have been the start of something very, very special for the creator.

Your Turn:

So what’s your take on this? Do you feel there is too  much chatter about “don’t say it unless it’s better/unique/different than the next guy” or are you more along the lines of “practice makes better”? Either way, I’d love to know your thoughts.

Mad Marketing Podcast

If you like the articles, you'll love Marcus' podcast and insightful tips on business and life.

Click to listen

Subscribe to Future Articles

Read Marcus' future articles and stay on the cutting edge of business, marketing, and life success tips!

Click to subscribe

Previous post:

Next post: