Recently, Brian Clark declared that Actually, Blogging is Dead. He’s totally right. But dammit, he offers up content marketing in it’s place, and I have a problem with that. The fact is that actually…content marketing is dead also.
What is content marketing after all? It is the act of sharing valuable, targeted information with your audience, no? The problem is that we continue to mistake information as being valuable these days. Be honest. You think information is valuable, don’t you? Well, it’s not. Information isn’t valuable at all. Why?
Because information is free, yo
Look around. Information is free. Is this fair? No, actually it’s not. It’s just the way it is. Look at the facts. Almost no one pays for news anymore. It costs millions of dollars to produce, and people literally risk their lives bringing it to us, and no one is willing to pay a dime for it. Why? Because it’s information; we’ve had enough already. We’re freaking inundated with it. Screw information. In fact, we want less.
If content marketing is the act of sharing valuable information, then it’s fundamentally flawed, because information isn’t valuable.
As marketers, we need to stop offering our customers and clients information, thinking that we’re giving them value. It’s one of the biggest reasons blogs fail actually. We publish awesome information, and no one cares. Why? Because information is blue on black. It’s frickin invisible. It’s meaningless.
The next big thing is…
If not information, what then? Context…it’s the next big thing. Context is the new information. Ironically, Brian Clark’s blog was the first to say this in my recollection. Larry Brooks wrote a while back that Content is No Longer King. He’s right. Do we not remember this?
I work with a lot of real estate professionals in my business, and these people have it tough. They’re busy as all get out, running all over town showing homes, negotiating deals and trying to get things to the closing table, and now they have to worry about internet marketing on top of all this. Literally 99% of home buyers use the internet as an integral part of their home search, so REALTORS have to get good at internet marketing if they want to survive.
They start with content marketing, and they fall on their face. Why? Because content marketing is dead! Clients just aren’t impressed that their agent knows about a home on the market. The client knows about the home too! They have an internet connection, after all. Who doesn’t? Clients need more. Way more. They need….CONTEXT.
For God’s sake, they don’t need any more content. They don’t need anyone to tell them what square footage a home has. They already know. They don’t need anyone to tell them the listing price either. Again…they already know. They already have gobs of information; what they need is context.
Examples of CONTEXT
- They already know the price, but they NEED a professional to tell them what’s going to happen to the value of that home over the next few years…and why. That’s context.
- They already know the square footage of the home that interests them, but they NEED a professional to point out how they can make a small change to the layout of the home and unlock a lot of hidden potential that they wouldn’t have otherwise seen. That’s context.
- They already know that the home they really wanted is off the market, but they NEED a professional to let them in on the fact that the buyer is having credit issues (uh, oh!) and the deal is likely to fall through, so instead of writing an offer on another home they don’t like as much, maybe they should sit tight for a second. That’s context.
Context is what separates the men from the boys, so to speak. Thing is, you have to ACTUALLY know what the heck you’re talking about…you might even have to take some risks on occasion, if you want to offer genuine CONTEXT to your audience. You man enough?