I had a most disturbing/depressing conversation with a pretty massive home-building company the other day. They had contacted me to discuss their current marketing strategy and within a few minutes of analyzing their business, it was obvious they had no concept of how to integrate content/inbound marketing into the mix. Thus, it was my job to present to them the vision of what they could do, simply through a company blog, to generate incredible traffic, leads, and sales.
The power behind the plan was that they would be able to produce, through their employee base that is well into the hundreds, hoards of content (blog articles and such), and in-turn they would not be so dependent on their $1,000,000+ Pay Per Click marketing campaign to generate leads. Essentially, by hiring a single CCO (chief content officer) at less than 100k a year, they would save 10 times that once the content started working it’s magic, and the number and quality of the leads that would come through such a campaign would be exponential.
But here’s the part that really stinks. The company, instead of focusing on what could and would be the result of an amazing content marketing campaign, instead only focused on the perceived ‘difficulties’ and obstacles that would come with such a strategy:
- What if the information in a blog article isn’t accurate from one state to the next?
- How would we have time to manage such a thing?
- Most of our sales people don’t write well.
- What if our base of dealers doesn’t agree on all our content?
- And on and on and on.
So instead of thinking about the thousands and thousands of consumers that are on Google right now, looking for a trusted source to give them great education through information, they are instead worried about red tape. Minutia. Frivolous details that don’t mean a dang thing.
To the Death of Red Tape!
Here is the deal folks: Companies that are crushing it online never talk about time, what ifs, and the thousands of other ‘concerns’ that can be imagined. They don’t play around with silly red tape and compare content marketing to building the great wall of China or putting a man on the moon. Nope, they see it as everything within their business– the lifeblood of all if you will. And because of that, there’s never an excuse as to why they can’t produce a great blog, website, etc.
But there is one other thing about this company mentioned above. Not only are they spending over 1 million in PPC, but they are also going through an entire web revamping so as to ease site navigation and conversions. This revamping, although a great need, is a classic example of ‘putting the cart before the horse’. Instead of worrying about driving traffic to their site and inducing consumer trust through content, they’re putting all their chips into what’s supposed to happen after the prospect has visited the site and started the learning process. Can you see just how off this methodology is?
The Wrong Way
But, truth be told, this company is like thousands of others out there right now– recognizing the need for a much better website, but going about the marketing process all the wrong way. And because of this, the results will be slim, and some other ‘upstart’ that doesn’t bother worrying about reasons ‘not’ to blog will throw themselves headlong into the content marketing process, ultimately passing ‘the big boys’ in their industry by, and leaving them to scratch their heads as to how it happened. If there ever was such a thing as a modern day ‘David vs Goliath’, this is it.
Note***: John Sherry wrote such an amazing comment below I’ve decided to add it into the main part of this article, as it’s simply too good for some not to read it:
I’ll give you why Marcus -because they won’t embrace today, to move on and get with the world and where it’s at. They fear the new and evolving and fight to keep things as they used to be, the familiar and glory days when they did well in their market. Companies who won’t grow won’t develop like an under achieving child at school. You can lead a horse to water, a child to a book, and a company to blogging, but you can’t make it realise that it’s future depends on it until it’s too late or till everyone else is at the party and they aren’t. Listen to their language and you’ll hear a ‘in-my-day-mentality’…plus the cobwebs around their outlook. These aren’t the mover and shakers, they’re the dead and dying and, sadly, there’s more and more businesses these days without a pulse.
So my question to you Mr. Big Business is when are you going to stop looking for excuses not to be great? When are you going to embrace the power of education-based marketing and give your customers what they’re looking for? Trust me, if you were able to count the (in this case) millions of dollars in additional sales and savings such a campaign would lead to, excuses wouldn’t be in your vocabulary. I can assure you the minute you do make this shift, everything within your company will change in amazing ways.
Why do so many large companies tend to find excuses as to why blogging/content marketing is unrealistic for their business? And what are some of the worst or most common excuses you’ve heard? Finally, how many years do you think will pass before a great company blog is the ‘norm’, versus the exception? As always, your thoughts, comments, and questions below are very much appreciated.
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