The Future of Content Marketing

Image of Brooklyn Bridge Being Built

New York City should have been destroyed 33 years ago.

A bunch of really smart people got together in 1880 to predict the future, according to Jeff Stibel in his intriguing book Breakpoint. These experts were called on to predict how the rapidly growing Gotham would manage into the next century and beyond.

The prognosis was not positive.

NYC was a major source of American innovation in 1880. Skyscrapers, subways, stock exchanges — and it was doubling in size every 10 years. The experts were concerned by this growth, because they projected by 1980, you’d need six million horses to transport all the people who would live there.

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Content Marketing: A Truly Winning Difference

Image of Schlitz Factory

In the 1920s, Schlitz beer went from 5th in the market to a tie for first. All because a sharp copywriter named Claude Hopkins highlighted their water purification process in an advertisement.

Never mind that all beer companies used the same process. No one had told that story before.

Advertisers became more astute after that point, which led to the development of the unique selling proposition by a guy named Rosser Reeves. This was the beneficial feature of a product or service that the competition would not, or could not offer.

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Why Don’t More People Believe You’re the Best?

One of the foundational tenets of direct marketing (which means all online marketing) is the “reason why.”

  1. Why are you the best?
  2. Why should I believe you?
  3. Why should I buy right now?

Good luck with that now. You can claim anything you want … and that’s the problem.

These questions have been answered in the prospect’s mind before you knew they were a prospect. The Internet makes your internal sales process a joke.

These three questions become one: Why should I buy from you at all when I understand your competition better than you do, and there’s no difference?

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The 3 Steps to Success at Anything

Many seek the simple formula for success. That’s true of content marketing, culinary mastery, improving your golf game, and with life in general.

So here it is:

  1. Attempt
  2. Observe
  3. Repeat

At least when it comes to online publishing and marketing, there’s a lot more training and advice available these days, unlike 15 years ago when I attempted and initially failed. But you still might find yourself putting off the attempt, allowing every little nagging issue to keep you from going live.

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Who’s the Hero in Your Business?

Many businesses are mediocre because they don’t have the slightest desire to be heroic. They just want to get through the day, collect the money, and carry on without too much hassle.

Other businesses fail to thrive due to an overabundance of hero syndrome. “We’re awesome, we beat the competition, we kick ass …” we, we, we.

News flash: No one cares about you or your business.

People care about themselves. They care about their problems and desires. Your business must become a hero to thrive, yes. Just remember that you’re not the hero.

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When it Comes to Content, Who Cares if there’s an App for That?

Image of Apple's iOS7

One of the more satisfying aspects of the more than 8 years of publishing Copyblogger has been the renewed praise for email marketing. Misguided pundits had proclaimed it dead for years.

Email, of course, is alive, well, and had never left the building. That’s because email still converts to sales at the highest rate of any online medium, while social media barely registers.

Email may be “old,” but it works.

The other favorite target of the doomsday punditry is the web itself. Specifically, the tried-and-true website.

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