Business-to-business (B2B) brands have spawned a new type of marketing today, one growing by leaps and bounds. It’s called content marketing. Before it earned its current name, this was simply advertising and promotional material, e.g., brochures and fulfillment pieces. It was a big business, fueling ad agencies, trade publications and printing companies.
But content marketing today is very different. It is primarily words in the ether. Fodder for search engines. Manufactured schema for driving sales though copy and to a lesser extent pictures and video. A new class of B2B content marketing shops have opened up around the country churning out real writing on topics ranging from agriculture to zoology. Gone are the days where you could bury your keywords on a page (white words on a white background) and raise your search profile. And you can’t just copy and paste other people’s copy onto your site to build search ballast. Google has caught on.
Today B2B marketers are employing “by-the-pound” content farms. Farms filled with ex-trade publication writers, retired professors, tyro English majors and other so-called subject matter experts (SMEs). The problem is, they don’t work for the companies they represent. They don’t get the brand strategy. It’s original content, yes, which Google applauds, but it’s “Choice” content not “Prime” content. And it’s driven by the algorithm, not the brand.
The best content is homegrown. Prime content gets noticed and shared. It gets commented on and argued. If you can’t write about your own company, if you have to hire mercenaries, you are feeding Google but diminishing your brand.