“Top X” lists, and why content by itself isn’t king

“Top X” lists…

Fair warning: this is a bit of a year-end rant. As the year’s drawing to an end, and as I’m perusing my twitter feed and LinkedIn pulse as well as my inbox, I can’t help but notice the sudden increase in “Top 3 / 5 / 10” [pick your number] things I need to know that will make my life and marketing skills so much better! In fact, it seems astounding that so far, I managed to survive, even thrive, without all these super important facts, tricks and skills!

Content is king … or is it?

One particular irritant to me is the mantra-like repetition of the phrase ‘content is king’. Why? Because in itself this statement makes no sense at all. Yet, we’re incessantly bombarded with it by SEO ‘experts’, content curators and others, who make a living from selling us their services. There’s nothing wrong with that, and we do need content! BUT – particularly in the context of Account Based Marketing (ABM), this phrase is meaningless.

In ABM, more so than in other forms of marketing, because your audience is narrower, content has to be highly relevant. Without relevance, it’s just ‘stuff’, white noise, that gets lost in the plethora of other pieces that compete for your target audience’s attention. Put yourself into your prospects’ shoes: Do you click on every piece served up to you by adtech-savvy marketers? or do you select, based on what seems relevant? There you have it. Content by itself isn’t king!

What others think on the subject

I’m not alone in this thinking. In his inc.com article on “…How To Properly Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams in 2017”, John White picks up on this as well, stating that two of the problem he sees around lacking sales and marketing alignment are:

  • The marketing department is creating content that is not relevant to the sales team’s funnel.
  • The sales team has no voice in what type of content gets produced.

Now that’s an article well worth reading in full!

In summary: by all means, check out those “top x” lists, they contain much relevant information and often morsels of insight that help you disrupt for the better in your own space, but remain critical and selective as you do so!

Here’s to a successful 2017!