Content Marketing strategy: Are you good, fast, or cheap?

mark schaefer grow
By {grow} Community Member Andy Crestodina

There’s a saying in the manufacturing world: “There’s good, fast and cheap. You can choose two.”  No business can offer all three.

It’s true throughout the service industry and in all forms of production. It’s why you can’t order a sirloin steak for $5 at a drive-through window. It’s simply a law of business, like the law of gravity.

I thought of this after reading one of Mark Schaefer’s posts last month, How the physics of social media is killing your marketing strategy. It was a straight-forward post with a powerful message: We’re entering an era where the content is being produced faster than ever, but our attention spans are not. Comparing this to colliding forces in physics, Mark points out that it’s going to get a lot harder to “maintain mindshare.”

He suggested three possible responses:

  1. Create increasingly spectacular content (be more amazing).
  2. Create content at a lower cost (reduce the time invested in generating content).
  3. Place your content in front of existing audiences (PR, News-jacking, guest blogging).

Sound familiar? These align with the three possible approaches in business. When we think about Mark’s recommendations, we see that they align with strategies which, in turn, align with specific tactics. Let’s take a look …

You can be GOOD

Produce the best content you can, even if it means staying tightly focused on a few topics. Survive by becoming the trusted authority on a narrow topic.

  • Conduct and publish original research.
  • Write the ebook/guide that answers prospects’ questions.
  • Produce infographics, videos and epic posts.

High quality content with specific focus is just what Google loves, so this strategy works well with search optimization.

You can be FAST

Produce content quickly and efficiently, by delegating and curating. Survive by producing lots of content and making lots of connections.

  • Email interviews to thought leaders, turn their responses into posts.
  • Source topics and content from sources inside your company.
  • Solicit guest posts from influencers through guest blogger outreach.

Since you’ll be involving more people and keeping frequency high, this strategy works well with social media.

You can be CHEAP

Publications have pre-packaged audiences that you can leverage by paying close attention to the changing interests of the press and popular blogs. Survive by being at the right place at the right time.

  • Find the sites where your audience spends time, and submit guest posts.
  • Nurture relationships with editors and journalists. Establish yourself as a source.
  • Watch HARO and Reporter Connection. Respond quickly to relevant topics.

If you’re able to jump in when the timing and topic are right, this strategy works well with PR.

Adapt and survive

Yes, there is a crush of content coming. But you can avoid getting sucked into the black hole if you have a plan. Consider your goals and your strengths, and then choose your survival strategy.

Which survival strategy are you using? (Please don’t tell us it’s a combination of all three!)

andy crestodina

Andy Crestodina is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. He is also the author of an upcoming book called “Content Chemistry: The Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing.” You can find Andy on Google+ and Twitter.

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