Why content marketing will never work for your business

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There are many instances where people know the benefits and understand the importance of content marketing, and yet, do nothing with it.

Whether that be going to a workshop, completing a course or, writing a few blogs then giving up because other activities were more important.

Your success with content marketing is dependent upon you doing the work. Implementing what you know. ACTION is power.

In this episode, Chris discusses the common challenges and excuses that hold people back from taking action with content marketing and challenges you to think about them differently.

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Lots of businesses are simply not ready for content marketing. Scenarios include things like:

  • coming to a CMA workshop that we host and then doing nothing with it
  • joining CMA and doing nothing with that and then leaving just after a few months
  • perhaps writing a few blogs and then giving up or doing some video and then not doing anything with that
  • or simply ignoring it until all goes away.

You might be listening to this podcast week in, week out, or you’re hearing stories about other people that are getting great results from their content marketing, but for some reason, it’s still not enough for you. It’s still not enough for you to take action and actually do something with it and get results from it. It’s not helping you to move forward.

So why is that? Why are you struggling to move forward? There are lots of scenarios where people know the benefits and understand the importance of content marketing, but still, do nothing with it.

In general, knowing how to be successful with content marketing is one thing, reading all the books, etc., but doing all the work is another thing entirely.

Now, I heard a crazy statistic recently in the past few months, 44% of all GPs, doctors, are overweight. Now, it doesn’t really matter what the number is. The point is that you can read all the books, you can go to all the workshops and all other conferences, and you can know everything you need to know about the thing, but at some point you actually need to do the work.

Knowledge is not power. Applied knowledge, however, can be very, very powerful.

And that’s what we need to make that shift, right? So it’s like us at CMA here, I can’t teach you really about content marketing and the most effective way if, one, we aren’t doing it ourselves. And two, we aren’t working with any other companies and helping them to do it too.

We need to be getting and showcasing our results. And I do this through things like interviewing people that we work with.

Recently on the podcast, there was a bunch of interviews, but generally speaking, we need to be getting results by ourselves and for other people too. And now we have dozens of case studies across all industries for businesses that are getting great results, but there’s still a reason why that doesn’t help people to take action.

So the difference is, it’s found in this gap between the study and the practice. What’s that gap? We need to zoom in and have a look and expose some of the problems that are happening in that gap. We have to go also beyond simply excuses for behavior like this. For example, a basic excuse may be something like I don’t have the time, and we’re going beyond that. Mainly because I’ve dealt with it in other podcast episodes and other blogs and things like that, and I’m kind of almost fed up speaking about it.

But we have to go beyond that because it isn’t about the time. There’s something else there.

So if your current excuse is that you don’t have the time, then perhaps this chat might shed some light on the real reason that content marketing isn’t working for you. Sorry, not that content marketing isn’t working for you, that content marketing will not work, will never work in your business if you can’t get over these things that I’m about to discuss with you.

So this is also though, if you’re listening and think, “well we’re doing all right actually, we are getting some good results from our content marking.” I feel like you will still benefit from this podcast episode. There’s still stuff in here for you that I think you can do differently, do better as well. So I’ve got six things I want to speak about.

So let’s get started. Let’s get through them. So the reason why content marketing will never work for your business is because of these six things. Then there’s lots of things within them too.

Number one is you think your business is different. For some reason you think that your business doesn’t need to think or worry about content marketing. Why would that be? Why would you be any different than anybody else? So if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while then you probably aren’t thinking like this, because this is implied in everything that we do. However, if you have been listening to the podcast and you still think you’re different, then it’s possible that I’m not doing my job very well or there’s going to be something in this episode to help you. If you’re new to the show and you’re thinking that content marketing doesn’t apply to you, you do think that you’re different, then you should probably listen to the back catalog.

But before you do that, let’s have a look at what every business has in common.

  1. We all need to get new customers.
  2. We all benefit from either keeping the customers that we have or finding a way to get new customers from our current customer base.

See, we all have some kind of buying process or sales process that each of our buyers goes through. Each of our buyers needs to have a certain amount of confidence or trust in us before they contact us for the first time. And that leads through the whole experience from buying from us, and staying with us, and being a customer for a long time, right? That confidence and trust.

So if we strip away the service or the product that you offer, we all have the same business essentially. Whatever it is that you’re trying to sell or get your customers to do, regardless if your B2B, B2C, or you’re a charity, or whatever it happens to be, you’re trying to sell someone on something, and that sales process relies on trust and confidence.

We’re all in the same business, the business of building trust. That’s what content marketing does. So stop thinking you’re different. You’re not, you’re the same as everybody else. And if you’re thinking to yourself, this isn’t the problem I’m having, then let’s move on.

Let’s go to problem number two. This is kind of split into two sections, 2.1 and 2.2.

So 2.1 is you aren’t clear on who you’re selling to. Now this one truly escapes people. In order to be successful in business in general, you need to know exactly what problem you solve for your buyer, who your ideal buyer is, and how they will benefit from your product or service and others. What’s the outcome for them? Regardless if it’s a product or service that you offer, it doesn’t matter. You need to know these things, who we’re selling to, why they would want to buy our thing, what the outcome is, what problem we’re solving. We need to know these things.

It’s really simple stuff, but if you don’t know who your buyer is, you’ve got major problems. The biggest mistake that people make, is that they generalize and say, well, anybody that’s got a home can benefit from what we have, or anyone with a specific income level could buy our thing, right? Or they just completely generalize, or they simply do not think about it. Which is crazy, because if you don’t know who you’re trying to communicate, how could you possibly create content that helps them to move through the buying process? How could you possibly create any content that’s going to speak to your audience in the way that you need to, if you don’t know who you’re speaking to? How could you possibly see the world from their perspective and build confidence if you don’t, first of all, understand what their world looks like through their eyes and how they feel in their world? Their objections or frustrations or anxieties.

All the things to do with either the product or service that they’re trying to buy or this problem that they have that they’re trying to solve or the experience that they’ve had in the past.

How could you possibly communicate with someone effectively if you don’t see that? If you aren’t clear on who you’re selling to?

Now the result of not being clear about who’s buying from you is this crappy, wishy-washy content. You see it all the time, it’s filler content. It’s the kind of content that’s been created because someone thinks something like, oh, Google needs fresh content, so we need to do a weekly blog and we need to have more pages on our website and we need to tell people about our awards that we’ve won and the chatty that we went to and donated to and we need to become a thought leaders. So let’s create content that speaks to our peers. You know, it doesn’t speak to the right people. That’s what content looks like when people think they’re doing content marketing when they aren’t doing content marketing.

It’s easy to spot now. Right? That’s what it looks like. That’s someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing and hasn’t bothered to find out what they should be doing. That’s what it looks like when you don’t know who you’re talking to. You try to appeal to everyone and as a result, you appeal to no one. And guess what happens? You say things like content marketing doesn’t work or we tried content marketing but didn’t get any results or we are doing that now, but honestly, it’s BS, it’s crap. And it’s because you’re doing it all wrong. You do not treat your content marketing like a true marketing and sales strategy and create content for the people that have the ability and willingness to buy from you, because you haven’t bothered to figure out who that is.

Second part of this problem, 2.2, you don’t see the world as a consumer. When you don’t know who you’re selling to, it leads to this much bigger problem. You can’t see the world from your buyer’s perspective, and to be a great marketer and sales person, to even have a chance of being world class, this shift needs to happen. Even if you feel like you’ve got this, there’s still a ton of room to get closer and build a deeper emotional connection with your buyers. Content marketing is the path to that. It’s the solution to this problem. It forces you to see the world from your buyer’s perspective, which leads to empathy, which leads to better communication and as a result it leads to better customers.

One way to make this shift happen for you is to be more conscious of your own buying behavior. See the world through the eyes of a consumer in this digital age, how do you make buying decisions? What process do you go through? Look at your family and how they do it. People that are older than you, people that are younger than you, your kids, your parents. Then apply that thinking to how you should approach your own marketing. When you see it through the eyes of a consumer, through the eyes of a buyer today, it’s hard to deny that the way that you communicate as a business has to change. That change that you’re looking for is content marketing.

Number three, you’re scared of your own successes. Interesting to me. This came up in an interview with Jack O’Brien and I’ll be publishing it on the podcast later on this year, in 2019. It’s an interesting perspective, I think it’s spot on. People hold themselves back from doing content marketing because they know it works. And they’re getting in their own way because they’re afraid of being successful. And this is mainly about the business leaders here, but this can also be a marketer’s problem as well. It could be a bunch of things going on here. So let’s break them down, five different reasons why this might be right.

It’s this fear of the unknown, you don’t know what’s next. So if you put yourself out there, you’re not sure what’s going to happen. Oh God, somebody is going to buy from me, what if I make a mistake or if I can’t look after them properly? What if I get too busy? What if I get too many customers? It’s just fear of the unknown. And because you’ve got fear of the unknown, you just don’t do anything. You don’t do anything. You’re stuck.

Secondly, you’re a perfectionist, and you want everything to be right before you make a move. You want your product and your service to be perfect. You want the process of customer experience, everything to be perfect before you sell any of it.

Number three, you don’t really believe. You don’t truly believe in the product or the service that you’re selling. You don’t believe it’s truly worth selling to people, and you doubt yourself. That can hold you back here too.

Four, perhaps you’re telling yourself that you’ve never really been successful at anything, so why would this time be any different? Now you’re telling yourself this negative self-talk. It’s getting in your way. Or you’re simply just sort of playing with your business. You haven’t turned pro, as Steven Pressfield would call it. In other words, you don’t have any real desire to really push it hard and for it to be great.

So you’re just afraid, you’re getting in your own way of this success that’s there for you if you want it. And the result of this as a kind of complacency, and the result of that is a whole bunch of excuses about why you aren’t trying to be more successful. You give them all of the excuses, think of them all, anything that means that you don’t have to do the work, right? You’re holding yourself back. It’s self-sabotage. And it’s not just you that’s impacted by this, it’s not just your work that’s impacted by this or how you feel about your self-worth. All of that stuff is impacted, but also the people that you work with, suppliers, customers, your team and your family. Everybody’s affected by this. So you have to ask yourself, well, what if I did to make a little bit more money?

What if we did make a few more sales? What if we were able to help a few more people with the thing that we offer? How would that impact you? How would that impact the people around you? What if we were to validate the thing that we do is actually of real value, which I’m sure that it is.

Cara’s shed business is 30 years old. They make the best sheds in the world. They learn, every time they put a shed out. After 30 years of building these wooden garden buildings, they’re still trying to be better. Now, if they stopped putting sheds out until they got it right, they wouldn’t have a business. The only thing that’s better than best is better, and we only get better if we produce as part of the process. You have to embrace the process. It’s never going to be perfect. It can only ever be better than it already is.

Number four, we already have enough customers. Now, if I hear this one again, I might just have a moment, I might just snap. This is just an excuse for not putting the effort in. “We’ve already got enough customers, everything’s fine. We’re doing all right.” How has your business? “Oh completed it yesterday mate.” Right? It doesn’t work like that, It’s just not what’s happening. It’s great that you’ve got customers and that you feel successful. I’m happy for you. It’s awesome, but the reason that I hate this excuse is because people think, well, that’s it. I don’t have to do anything anymore. But you’re not done. You’re not better. You might be in a good position right now, but you do not own any of that success. It can be taken away from you at any moment.

Things change and it’s certainly not an excuse for not doing your marketing. Here’s why. How many of your customers are your ideal customers, as a percentage? Is it possible to over the course of time you could get even better quality customers? Is it possible that your customers could be spending more with you and staying with you for a longer period of time? What about referrals? Could you be getting more referrals? I could go on. There’s always room for better. This also reeks of complacency as well. You’re either green and growing, or you’re ripening and rotting. And if you aren’t continually trying to improve and move forward with your business, it’s actually rotting, and you don’t even know it. There is no standing still in business, and content marketing is the path to a better business.

And number five is the final piece and we’ll wrap up. You aren’t prepared to do the work.

Now anything worth doing is going to take work. Marketing for your business is no different, there’s work to do, forever probably. So you may as well just accept that, and make sure that whatever work you’re doing is actually the work that means something to you, and is something that you actually enjoy. Which is probably the reason you aren’t prepared to do the work. You’re simply not in love with what you’re doing, or you’re not in love with the way that it is right now. If you aren’t prepared to do the marketing and the work that’s required to either change what you’re doing or find good people around you and surround yourself with them, so they can take on the work so you can find joy in your work.

Now, this is such a major piece of content marketing. I feel that content marketing really brings the love and the fun and excitement back into the business. It’s challenging, but it’s so worthwhile.

In order for content marketing to truly have an impact on your business and in your working life, you need to change your mindset and perspective. Accept that you aren’t different, you aren’t exempt from this. Work on seeing the world from the perspective of your buyer. Get closer to your customers than anybody else. Realize your potential, accept that the outcome of those next steps is unknown, but in order to develop, you have to move forward. You have to take that next step. You’re never done. There’s always room to get better. In fact, that’s all there is. There is only better. What else do you want there to be? That’s the journey that we’re all on. That’s what we’re trying to be in our personal lives and our working hours.

Better means, if we’re striving to be better all the time, it means that the work is never done. And you need to find the joy in the work too. Don’t see it as something that needs to be done, “Oh I’ve got to do content marketing, got to do a blog this week, it’s so painful. I wish we never had to do this.” That’s the wrong attitude. It’s the wrong mindset. That’s why it will never work in your business.

What we find is that the reason that content market will never work in your business is exactly the reason why you need content marketing in your business, strangely enough. If you’ve been doing it, you’ve tried it and it’s not working and all the rest of it, what you’re doing is not working because you’re not working at it. What you’re doing is not doing it the right way. It needs to be done differently or better.

Until you can overcome these issues that we’ve talked about today. The other stuff that you need to learn about the process is useless. There’s no point in talking about SEO and email marketing and techniques for writing, and conversions and websites and calls to action, all of that stuff. We could talk about that another time, but you’ve got to, first of all, deal with this stuff in your heads, this mindset, this approach, and get out of your own way.

You can be an amazing marketer in terms of the knowledge you have, but what really matters is the difference in getting results, and creating that story, and being part of that journey for your business, and for your company. So we want to see those results. We want to see that success, and we’re all waiting for you to do that, but it’s up to you to do the work. There’s always room for better. Even if you’ve listened to this and you feel like you are doing great work, I’m sure that there’s something here that you can work on and improve on.

As always, you can email me chris@cmauk.co.uk. You can tweet me @chrismarr101. I’d love to hear your thoughts, your ideas, your questions. What’s on your mind? And I’ll catch you next time, and I wish you all the success that you’re prepared to work for. Don’t forget to be awesome.