This fantastic cartoon by Marketoonist Tom Fishburne nicely demonstrates the irony of social marketing. We all assume that our work is worth sharing, and few of us believe that our own reality might be broken. Not the guys in blue above, not me and not you.
“Ohhhhh, I understand!” the front desk greeter at my gym said to the young lady with a complimentary 3-day guest pass. “You’re not a member. You’re a prospect!”
This is not content marketing. This is advertising.
Content is about them. Advertising is about you.
That is all.
(Check out more of marketoonist Tom Fishburne’s work at tomfishburne.com.)
Measuring the ROI of content marketing can be tricky. While companies white-knuckle the roller coaster ride from outbound to inbound marketing, many rightly ask for data to back up the hype. “Where are the best practices?” they ask. “Where is the research…the numbers that prove all this actually works?”
Meanwhile, new media pundits struggle to answer these questions. The tools are still so new that established best practices (the past) give way to seat-of-your-pants innovation (the future).
Exciting? Yes, but difficult to measure and prove in a spreadsheet.
While some aspects of content marketing (numbers of shares, RSS subscribers and comments) are easy to measure, others seem next to impossible. How does one prove that your brilliant white paper influenced a buyer to move forward with the deal a little more quickly? How do we draw a straight line from A to Z?
I wish I could say that my love for content marketing originated from some positive, inspiring experience.
I can’t. The truth is, it was born out of fear.
Fear of calling on strangers. Fear of rejection, of coming off as too pushy, of doing things I was uncomfortable with. Fear of losing face.
Marketing allowed me (or so I thought) to avoid all the messiness involved in actually selling something. If I could get good enough at copywriting and creating content offers, then I’d only have to talk to people who contacted me first…new customers served up on a silver platter.
No rejection. No pushing against my comfort zone. No pain.
Ray Kroc built the McDonald’s empire from a single prototype in San Bernardino into a business behemoth that serves around 64 million customers every single day. While I’m not a fan of the food, I am a fan of the man behind it. Here’s one reason why…
There’s a plaque inside a sealed glass case at Petco Park (home of the San Diego Padres, which he bought in 1974). On it is a quote from Mr. Kroc that not only applies to success in life, but to content marketing as well.