We believed the content marketers when they promised us content as a marketing alternative to pay-per-click ads. “We’ll run links from recognized publishers,” they said. It’ll be cool, they said. Well, in reality, the content they’re delivering is the kind of content intended to drive people to make a purchase or click on an ad—and it's obvious. Readers are smart and aren’t falling for the bait. It's time to switch the approach and, at least one company, Outbrain, is taking content marketing in a new direction.
Sure, right now it’s easy to trick people into clicking a link that promises them content, but only delivers if the person signs up for a newsletter or buys something. That’s not real content. If you want to attract and retain customers, don’t try to trick them into buying something or signing up for something with the promise of great content. Just give them great content every day. Show up, be authentic, and give people genuinely helpful information. You’ll be surprised at the crowds knocking down your door to buy when you’re striving to help, not to sell.
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