Lee Odden

No April Fool’s – Raising the Bar on Content Marketing Should Be Your Imperative in 2013

content marketingApril 1st is prime time for jokes from brands seeking to capitalize on the holiday. One trend that is no joke involves the importance of content in the digital marketing mix.

According to a study from Econsultancy and Adobe, content ties as the number one digital marketing priority along with conversion rate optimization for 2013.  That confidence and focus on content has companies responding with investments. A study from MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute reports that 86% of BtoC companies will keep or increase their investments in content marketing spending in 2013. Additionally, 54% of BtoB companies will increase content marketing spending.

Along with an increased digital marketing focus on content are the major changes with search engines and the practice of SEO. Now more than ever, the importance of on and off domain content is as important or more than the technical aspects of optimization.

Whatever the rationale, the mass rush to the content marketing bandwagon has resulted in a dramatic increase in crap, or low quality content. There are a number of “myths” about content marketing that are causing companies to waste time and resources, including the notion that simply creating more content is the answer.

You Can’t Optimize Better Customer Experience Simply By Adding More Content. Raise The Bar On Quality, Context And Relevance To Win The Content Marketing Game.

Last week Miranda posted a liveblog of my presentation at SES New York: Creative Content Marketing: Winning Hearts, Minds and Wallets. Below is an embed of that full presentation (now downloadable) offering tips on content sourcing and types of content for scalable brand storytelling.

This well received content marketing presentation includes a number of examples including General Mills, Dell and a content marketing project we did for the Content Marketing World conference. As a bonus, it also includes a link to a new ebook:  Content Marketing Smarts – 20 Examples of BtoB and BtoC Brands Creating Standout Content

How have you been able to organize your content development and promotion efforts to scale while maintaining quality?  What challenges do you have with increasing content production while retaining brand story and marketing performance expectations?

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.


  1. Lee, I’m so glad you posted this; it’s a conversation I have on a daily basis with customers. I think many B2B companies are missing the mark when it comes to producing valuable content. At the end of the day, we have this extraordinary chance as marketers to carry on a dialogue with our future customers and we’re not doing enough with this opportunity. We can’t go through the motions and share recycled “crap content” in the hopes that someone will fill out a form or click a button. That isn’t good enough if we want to maintain and increase market share in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.

    Companies need to devote more money to their websites, content marketing, and overall thought leadership initiatives. I’m glad to see professionals having this discussion about not just producing content, but making it worthwhile. It’s definitely something we’ll be talking about more on our blog during the weeks and months ahead.

    I will say that I don’t think the issue is just scaling or organizing content efforts…I think companies have to determine the overall value they provide (or want to provide) as an authority within their industry, and keep that core to all their efforts. This is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle I see lacking for many…they haven’t determined what value they provide.

    • MirandaM_EComm says:

      That’s very true, Cara… in his Creative Content Marketing presentation at SES NY last week, Lee called out that point; that many brands haven’t identified what it is, exactly, they offer that is unique and valuable, to use in defining and driving their content strategy. If you don’t know what your unique value proposition is, he said, your business has bigger problems than content. 😉

    • Thanks Cara, It’s a big question to answer: Why? After that, a lot of the approach and mechanics will flow.

  2. Good point Kristin. The interesting thing about “quality” is that it’s still a subjective concept. Search engines are a lot easier to convince about quality than people. Otherwise, conversion rates would be 50% or more. The trick is to be the right content and the right time. Tricky indeed.

  3. I am so excited about the post you’ve shared Lee. As an owner of a digital agency it is going to help me for SEO and blogging etc

  4. Sheetal Sharma says:

    Quality over quantity is the point to be noted here, content marketers need to create content which can capture and generate interest of the customers.I am a part of content management at synechron and our everyday motive is to provide our audience something new to take away.

  5. Yeye Yates says:

    so very true. Directing organic traffic to a website through legitimate means is already a difficult task – don’t lose the viewers with poor content and user experience. I learned this one the hard way. Am quite new in the industry and the most usual tips that I got is to focus on SEO. Did that and yay visitors. However, based on the analysis and reports generated by Colibri (SEO tool that I am using) many of the visitors are not returning visitors. Now, am more concentrated on upping the content and improving user experience.

  6. I definitely agree with this article. Many companies today believe that generating more content is the manner of producing effective content marketing. But of course this can’t actually be true. The average consumer gets bombarded by at least 50 advertisements in their daily lives, and with an attention span of about 5-8 seconds, how is your company going to actually engage one customer amidst all the other content-oriented companies attempting to grasp that customer’s attention? Effective content marketing by creating original and innovative ideas, creating marketing strategies for implementation, and monetizing on these creative ideas.