Meaningful Content – New Marketing Insight or Old Stuff Repackaged?

| July 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

An article I just read in a respected digital marketing blog suggests content marketers’ focus is changing. Apparently there’s a new kid on the content creation block, and it’s called ‘meaningful content’. The thing is, new marketing ideas are not always new. A lot of the time they’re the same old stuff, re-packaged. And this looks like one of those times.  

What is ‘meaningful content’

The theory goes like this: there’s more to life than simply being useful, relevant, timely and impactful. You want to make a lasting impression to win a place in people’s ‘top-of-mind awareness’, something you can’t do unless your marketing output sticks in the mind of the consumer.

So far so good. It’s all true. But let’s explore what we should be doing to make content more ‘meaningful’. Is there any fresh thinking to tap into?

What does meaningful content look like?

  • The first piece of advice is be where your prospects are, when they need the information, with a message so good they can’t ignore it. Good points… but nothing new. It’s very basic stuff indeed.
  • Make people feel confident about what the brand stands for, not just the purchase they might make. This isn’t new either, it’s perfectly standard brand marketing fare, something marketers should already be doing.
  • Focus on creating and sharing the best content for the user, not on marketing – Nothing new here either. If you want to create the best content, you need to put the customer first. The same goes for the next piece of advice, don’t just create content for content’s sake. A fair and sensible point but hardly a new one, never mind a revolutionary one.
  • Make consistency a mainstay. If your content doesn’t already reflect your brand consistently, why on earth not? Integrated communication is something marketers have long been aware of.
  • Focus on how the brand can enable customers to ‘become a version of themselves they never imagined possible’. Hm. Now we’re veering into bullshit. I am not even going to dignify that one with a comment.
  • Harness personalisation. Develop at least one person to be the public face of the brand, to help people form a warm human connection and make content more likely to be shared. Good stuff, well said. But again it’s another piece of standard wisdom, nothing new.
  • Put users’ stories at the core of your marketing efforts. We already know that talking about a brand, products or services isn’t anywhere near as powerful as talking about how they help people. It’s a piece of advice experienced marketers already take as read.

Is making content ‘meaningful’ a revolutionary marketing idea?

Is ‘meaningful’ content the next big thing? Sadly the short answer is no. It’s something good marketers have always done. It looks like all the experts have done is re-package existing knowledge to make it sound innovative and different. If your content creation partner doesn’t already create meaningful content, find someone who does.

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Category: copywriting and marketing

By Kate Goldstone - ()

Originally from Middlesbrough, I lived in Brighton for many years before moving to North Devon. I’ve had a passion for words all my life and this is my twelfth year as a freelance writer. In my spare time I draw, paint, sculpt, carve wood and rock, garden, read, write poetry and enjoy long distance hiking. I sing and play the recorder. I collect modernist paintings, vintage rugs and mid-century German art pottery. I’m a member of The Poetry Society. And I am an experienced volunteer shepherd, a ‘Lookerer’.

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