A few weeks ago, I read this post by Joe Pulizzi and it has become one of the most important benchmark for my marketing activities and work. Joe Pulizzi discussed in this post that the most important question for marketers is the “is my content any different from my competition’s content”. Here is a recap of the post below in Joe’s words:

 

“A few weeks before the start of the New Year I led a workshop on content marketing for about 50 small-business CEOs and operations managers. They came from all different industries. Some were consultants. There was a plumber and a representative from an HVAC company present. Pest management? Check. A few small manufacturing companies, a nonprofit, and a jewelry store rounded it out. In other words, it was a diverse group of companies.
What wasn’t diverse were the ways they were marketing their companies. Most had e-newsletters. All of them had Facebook pages. Every one of these senior leaders was concerned about search engine rankings.

 

Another consistent characteristic? Not one of them was happy with their marketing. This is not unusual. It’s predictable that senior leaders are often disappointed with their marketing. Why? Mostly because they believe it should be easier than it is. They also feel they are just one secret-sauce answer away from Utopia. I mean, how hard could it really be? (Don’t answer that.)

 

And that’s what I heard about their content efforts as well. Their blog posts weren’t getting much traffic or converting. Their email newsletters weren’t getting opened. Their customers were ignoring them on social media. Finding themselves on the first page of a search engine listing was equally hard.”
He then goes ahead to ask one simple question, “Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?”
“Is the content you are creating and distributing for your customers any different than anything else out there?”

 

He then rephrased and asked the question to each one directly. He asked the jewelry store executive with the e-newsletter if what they sent to customers was any different. They sent coupons and articles that you could find literally anywhere.
For the rest of the morning, they focused on answering one simple question: “Why should my customers care?”

 

In summary, Joe and the Content workshop defined the ultimate job of marketers saying “Our role as marketers, is not to create more content. It has never been about that. It’s about creating the minimum amount of content with the maximum amount of behavior change in our customers (hat tip to Robert Rose). For that to be possible, what you are creating has to be valuable, useful, compelling and, yes, different.”

 

This post first appeared on Content Marketing Institute