(This post originally appeared on the Resonance Content Marketing Blog.)
If you haven’t yet heard the dirty little secret of content marketing, I’ll lay it on you right now:
Creating, publishing, and promoting relevant, value-driven content on a regular basis is not a mission for the faint of heart.
And I’m not the only one who thinks so.
As part of its 2013 SEO Marketing Benchmark Survey, MarketingSherpa recently posed the following question to a large group of marketers:
“Please indicate the DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY (time, effort and expense required) in creating each of the content products your organization is using.”
These were the results (more after the graphic):
Looking at these results, I’m not at all surprised to see Mobile Apps claim the Most Difficult Content Product crown. After all, these deliverables require specialized coding skills in addition to writing and design. Nor am I shocked that it’s joined at the bottom of the list by large-scale content formats—White Papers, Case Studies, E-books, Webinars—as these are not things that can be dashed out in a single afternoon.
But the result that truly floors me is the response to Online Video: 80 percent of respondents rated Online Video as either “Somewhat Difficult” or “Very Difficult.”
Really? Really? In this day and age, when any smartphone doubles as a video camera and apps like Vine and Instagram let you publish with a single tap?
What that tells me is that many marketers are continuing to view video through the old-school lenses. They see it as something that’s scripted by a Screenwriter; filmed in a studio by a Videographer, a Sound Engineer and a Lighting Designer; then edited by a professional Editor; then delivered in a slick, polished, check-us-out-’cause-we’re-so-amazing package.
Yes, this approach to online video is incredibly time- and resource-consuming. It’s also incredibly outdated.
What if those same marketers were to let go of the need to look polished-to-perfection every time they appeared before their audiences? What if they embraced the idea of spontaneous video recorded and shared through Vine or Instagram? What if they sat their CEO in front of a webcam once a week and started producing a vlog?
My guess is that online video would all of a sudden become much easier. And effective.
And I suspect the same could be said of many other “difficult” items on the list. Podcasts are much easier when they involve someone sitting in front of a microphone, and not a team of sound engineers, custom intro/outro music, and professional voiceovers. Webinars are much easier when they involve a PowerPoint deck and a Go to Webinar subscription, and not committee-approved, focus-grouped Frankencontent that has every middle manager’s fingerprint on it.
So if you’re among those content marketers (or would-be content marketers) who find some aspects of the job intimidating, you might want to consider simplifying your approach. Not only will it save you time, effort and money—it might even earn you some respect.
What are your thoughts on these survey results from MarketingSherpa? Tell us what you think in the Comments—we’d love to hear from you!
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About the Author
A self-described “marketing nerd,” Rachel Parker, Owner and Chief Content Strategist of Resonance, works with businesses of all sizes to help them meet the challenge of connecting with today’s hard-to-reach customer.
Rachel has made Resonance the “one stop shop” for companies looking to get more out of their content marketing efforts. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many of Houston’s major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business.