Marketing, Strategy, Content  /  9.15.14  / 1-min read

“But We Have a White Paper!” Why Good Content Isn’t Enough

Content marketing is hot right now. Marketers and businesses alike love the idea of pulling customers in with compelling blog posts, videos, and infographics—rather than pushing themselves out with interruptive ads and messages that just get between customers and what they’re really seeking. (You know the feeling. The last thing you want to see when you’re looking for coverage of the latest iPhone release is an auto-play commercial for Crest Whitestrips.)

Content marketing, when done well, has proven effective for B2B organizations. At Calypso, we’re often dealing with companies in the renewable energy, technology, healthcare, and financial industries that have complex stories to tell. And sometimes, when we’re first explaining the potential of a content marketing program, we see eyes glaze over. “Oh yeah, we’re doing that,” we hear. “We already have a blog. And Joe, our brilliant CFO, wrote a couple of white papers that we all shared on LinkedIn.”


This isn’t content marketing.


“Sure it is!” you might be thinking. “Blogs and white papers are part of a content marketing program. Any rookie marketer knows that.” OK—let me rephrase:


This isn’t content strategy.


Many times, companies have content assets (a blog, white papers, perhaps even videos) that don’t do anything to boost traffic to their websites, increase leads, or boost sales. They’re not too keen to invest in content marketing because they think they’re already doing it—and they think it isn’t really working. Aside from the fact that an effective content marketing program is a long game and not a quick fix, here are a few reasons why content, on its own, may not be attracting eyeballs:


1. The content isn’t shared strategically.


Posting your company’s new white paper on LinkedIn is a great idea—if your LinkedIn contacts comprise the sort of people who would be your ideal customers. Do your college roommate, your former supervisor, and your brother-in-law fit that bill?


2. The content isn’t tracked strategically.


Monitoring page hits or shares won’t tell you much about the people actually reading your posts. Tools like HubSpot, Followerwonk, and Buzzsumo can help marketers track and learn more about the people viewing, downloading, and talking about your content. And the more you know about your audience, the more you can create additional content that delivers the information they want to see—when they want to see it.


3. You don’t have enough content.


Do you have employees who have blogging listed as part of their job description? Many companies still see blogging as a “when we have time” activity—an extra. But research consistently shows that quantity DOES matter. Companies who post more get more traffic.

Post written by

Sarah Flaherty

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