Social Savvy: What the bleep do we (k)now about content marketing?

Social Savvy: What the bleep do we (k)now about content marketing?

by Stan Faryna

Stan Faryna

HoneyHoney, Black Crows

Content marketing is the new black, right? Never mind that the black (shizz, cool or however you say it) changes every 72 hours or less.

Nevermind too that content marketing pays less than the legal minimum wage in any first or second world economy. It’s the new black!

How fast can you copy, modify, and paste?

That’s what the bleep content marketing is!

Some of the coolest bloggers I know are very confused about what content marketing is. They think it’s about writing well. They thinks its about writing things that are urgently and immediately relevant to your customer or prospect. They think it’s about building trust and brand.

And if you know who Jakob Nielsen is, you might even want to talk about how good online writing has a few quirks you need to consider.

The fundamentals of good writing are accuracy, clarity, and effectiveness. If you can employ the elements of style to do so, excellent. If you can tell it as a drama or story – that’s just like putting a perfect icing on the cake.

That is not what content marketing is about.

Content marketing is about filling enough pages with text and links to build search engine relevancy. AND it’s about having more of those pages than any other competing pages. In other words, it’s spam.

Spam is spam and marketing is something else. Marketing is about making a conversation where you get to say the right things about your product or service to the right prospect or customer.

I just received a request for my reply to this:

I need a content marketer that can write 20 unique articles per day for $20 per day. Each article must be 500 to 1000 words and keyword optimized. Articles must not get flagged by Copyscape. Engaging, informative, and stylish content is a must. Copyright belongs to clients.

Can we all stop talking about contenting marketing now?

Write well. Or don’t. But let’s not hype the spam, please.

word count: 300

Stan Faryna
05 March 2012
Bucharest, Romania


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10 Responses to Social Savvy: What the bleep do we (k)now about content marketing?

  1. “Content marketing is about filling enough pages with text and links to build search engine relevancy. AND it’s about having more of those pages than any other competing pages. In other words, it’s spam.”

    Hi Stan, there’s no doubt that a lot of companies try to use content to simply extend their reach rather than create actually relevant information to inform buyers and build better relationships with customers. And to do that, yes, the consensus is you need LOTS of content. Businesses have sprouted up everywhere to help companies “create more content”. (Fortunately, Google Panda is doing a better job of making this tactic less effective).

    But I think the quote above is a harsh generalization. Most marketers preach “quality over quantity” when it comes to their content strategies. I wouldn’t be so quick to judge — content marketing, when done right, is certainly not spam.

    • Stan Faryna says:


      It is a harsh call and, believe me, I was very much reluctant to do so.

      When I consider the sheer amount of wrong “content marketing” to right “content marketing” in a rough ratio of 10,000:1, my point is that this buzzword, content marketing is dead.

      Let’s bury it. It’s stinking up the joint. [grin]

      What’s wrong with copywriting?

      Wikipedia defines copywriting as “the act of writing copy for the purpose of marketing and advertising a person, business, opinion or idea.”

      Wikipedia is not the most authoritative source, of course. But it does provide some generalizations worthy of our consideration.

      Wikipedia continues:

      “The purpose of marketing copy, or promotional text, is to persuade the reader, listener or viewer to act—for example, to buy a product or subscribe to a certain viewpoint.”

      Good copywriting, as you say, shall remain necessary and essential to commerce, culture, and, perhaps, the course of human freedom.

  2. I think the difference is in using content to create relationships and becoming a trusted source of information around a particular market or topic area. Jay Baer had a great quote last year, where he said “helping is the new marketing,” and I really believe that is one of the primary tenets of good content marketing.

    Companies that simply crank out thousands of posts to saturate search results and increase their traffic are missing the boat. After all, even if they DO get more traffic, what good is it if the content they are creating — you know — sucks? Creating content purely on volume will kill your quality, and in the end actually have a negative impact on your brand.

    That’s not what content marketing is about. I don’t think the issue is with the term itself (though there have been lots of debates on that as well), but on the general understanding of it’s purpose. But while there are some elements of copywriting in there, it definitely goes well beyond that.

  3. billdorman says:

    Interesting; I never thought of most of it being ‘spam’, but I guess it really is. Some of it is just sheer volume instead of quality content. It’s loaded up w/ all the keywords and catch phrases and this is what really is driving the boat……….just makes you go hmmmmm……

    Well, I think I’m back sir; not 100% but I do have my appetite back and that is always a good sign for me.

    I was starting to believe your post about me being gone because last week I really was; I didn’t even look at my reader, which currently has over 370+ unread posts………it will be clean by tonight though………..:).

    Hope things are looking up for you my friend.

    • Stan Faryna says:

      Bill, I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better. The place has fallen apart without you. And you gotta know, buddy, that my eulogy of Bill Dorman was merely a disguised celebration of one helluva blogger.

      P.S. That’s a lot of posts to catch up on, Bill! 370+! Don’t you hurt yourself!

  4. So it took you to say it! Content for content sake, is spam. I have been thinking about link bait on twitter, content bait on blogs, and I am getting fed up with it all.
    Brendan if you want an example of what content should be then go and look at Jim Connolly blogs. For there, is content that is relevant and builds assurance and trust in the person first and foremost.
    Stan has nailed it here, and as the ‘also rans’ pick up the latest craze of content, the spam will rise until it drowns out the rest of us. Then we will have to find another way to point to our relevance and assure our audience we are worth the investment of their precious time.
    As for me.
    Finding a few blogs worth the trouble, a few tweeters that have a song of their own, and communications with those few are the next new black.
    It’s not overload of social media, it’s overload of spammed social media.
    Less is more, unless you don’t have any more to start with. Then you spam someone els’s more and sink like a dang stone, and the sooner the better.
    I come to Stan for a real live person, telling real live things that they have seen, heard, and or done.
    The second handers, or spammers are naff, empty, dullards.

  5. I think I’ll add “Content Marketing” to my list of least favorite and over-used SoMe terms/phrases such as “Content Is King,” “Engagement” and “Best Practices!”

Speak from your heart!

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