Monday, December 3, 2012

It's a Blog Eat Blog World

(Image courtesy of
As we approach 2013, marketing pros are predicting trends for the New Year and publishing their respective predictions everywhere and in many forms. In the past 7 days I have downloaded 3 eBooks from 3 different industry pros and while the authors of the content are different, the messages within are pretty much the same. If you've been keeping up with marketing trends for 2012, you already know that companies vying for your loyalty are shifting efforts to focus more on Inbound Marketing. 

The Almighty Wikipedia breaks the concept of Inbound Marketing into (5) stages:
1) Attract Traffic
2) Convert Visitors to Leads
3) Convert Leads to Sales
4) Turn Customers Into Repeat Higher Margin Customers
5) Analyze for Continuos Improvement

Popular tactics to 'earn media' include eBooks, newsletters, podcasts, social media and blogs.

 (Image courtesy of TopRankBlog)
Among the other trends predicted, most articles or other blogs I have read all emphasize the importance of companies having a blog. For most companies and organizations selling a product, service or those that serve a cause marketing purpose, this makes sense. The problem, in my opinion, is that in the age of content being king, the majority of articles, eBooks and blogs all make the same exact point using similar content only in different context. Since most of these pro's suggest linking to other articles & blogs for reference, here are a few:                                                                   

Just in case you are still pondering whether or not your business needs a blog:
Blogs as an Inbound marketing tool can be successful, but the more I am inundated with blogs that all say the same thing but in different ways, the less effective I find them to be

What REALLY makes a company, product or service stand out cannot be measured in content marketing, especially when the content is stale, repetitive or irrelevant to the reader. While most of the blogs, articles and eBooks with titles like '10 Marketing Trends for Success in 2013' or this gem list similar trends, I think they can be shortened down to just a couple.

Content and Context will Rule - Together

(Image courtesy of
There is no question that continual creation of relevant, targeted content is important, recognizing that the world has gone mobile creates the need for both content and context to act as combined methods to drive commerce. The best article I have read (thus far) on this comes from eMarketer entitled 'Trends for 2013: Content, Context Vie for Supremacy' where they explain that " an increasingly mobile-centric world, context - where consumers are, what they are doing and thinking, and how receptive they are to engaging with marketers, shares the throne." 

They suggest that adding features that are attractive to mobile shoppers like store locators and local deal finders are valuable ways marketers can "create more avenues for  engagement".

Tell Me a Story

Prior to leaving my last job I was invited to join an ad-hoc steering committee with the City of Manchester's Economic Development Office and major real estate stakeholders in the Queen City regarding use of some grant money to find a way to deal with the growing amount of vacant Commercial Real Estate properties in Manchester. After a couple meetings and a pretty penny spent with a consultant, the solution boiled down to the need for Manchester to 'tell it's story'. Companies looking to earn loyalty need to do the same. Storytelling is a creative way to let consumers know how you are different from competitors, what makes you special and paves the way to create a more intimate 'relationship' with people. Forbes recently wrote a brilliant  article on storytelling. In short, it emphasizes the importance of a company having a unique story to tell to excite and retain their best employees. After all, if your employees are not invested or passionate about your company, how can you expect a consumer to be? Paul Smith, with regards to the ways storytelling can help leaders be more effective, says "The five most commonly used are probably these: inspiring the organization, setting a vision, teaching important lessons, defining culture and values, and explaining who you are and what you believe."

(Image courtesy of
If you need more trends to look forward to, simply Google 'Marketing Trends 2013' and set aside a few hours. I don't want to sound as though I am judging the numerous intelligent, savvy and hard-working people who blog, write articles or spend any amount of their time organizing their valuable thoughts and opinions into reader-friendly content, but the redundancy of information is overwhelming. In addition to numerous blogs about trends, what to do and how to do it - many posts have focused on how not to suck at blogging. From what I have seen, heard and read the best way to not suck at blogging is to not tell the same story as everyone else. 

(Image courtesy of Ricky Cadden)
Subscribe to what speaks to you directly and recognize quality content that you deem valuable. Otherwise, it's the same old blog - just a different author.



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