Content Marketing – Be the work horse not the pushy pig

By Maggie Langley | 6:00pm 12/09/2012


We have more tools than ever to reach our targets with marketing messages. All of this choice obscures the clear path to the marketing mix that best helps achieve our marketing goals.

When you doubt whether you are on the right marketing path, remember the

content marketing maxim.

Be the work horse, not the pushy pig.

The trick to a successful content marketing campaign is still based in sound marketing principles. For a campaign to get engagement, you must still understand your target market and what will appeal to them.

The main shift required for a successful online content marketing campaign is from outbound to inbound marketing.

Outbound Marketing – The Pushy Pig

Outbound marketing involves pushing your message out to your targets. An outbound marketing campaign can be an advertisement in a public place like a billboard, cold calling, direct mail, sponsoring events, exhibiting at trade shows, email marketing to a list that was purchased; you get the picture.

The common characteristic of outbound marketing is that it is unsolicited. The ‘target’ has not expressed interest in the brand or product. The idea is that if you get the marketing message in front of enough eyes, a certain percentage will convert, creating a measurable return on investment.

Unfortunately, the volume of marketing messages and information the average person consumes makes it more difficult to be heard amongst the cacophony of the 21st Century.

Let’s not get carried away and be dismissive of outbound marketing. A direct mail campaign sent to a list of golf pro-shops to tell them about the latest and greatest new golf widget is a highly targeted outbound marketing campaign that could get results much faster than is possible with content marketing.

Highly targeted campaigns which demonstrate an understanding of the consumer get results. Another tactic of the outbound marketer is to get the message to a large number of people in the hope they might convert. It’s this cold-calling-from-large-untargeted-lists / direct-mail-to-the-masses approach that does not translate well into internet marketing. This is what I call pushy pig marketing.

Characteristics of a Pushy Pig Marketer

Pushy Pig Marketers aren’t afraid to get dirty. They stick their noses in the trough and keep pushing until they find a scrap of food. They push and push relentlessly, selfishly. Pigs are always hungry for more, and they can be quite aggressive when it comes to their food. The Pushy Pig Marketer might outsource a cold calling campaign. The callers push, push, push the sales message to unsuspecting targets.

Cold calling, print advertising and direct mail can and does still get results, but you can’t translate the Pushy Pig Marketer mindset into Social Media Marketing. It simply doesn’t get results. If you design an advertisement to go on the side of the bus, you know that a large number of eyes will see your marketing message. If you schedule the exact same marketing message to go out over and over again on Twitter, people will stop following you. Nobody will want to see your message. Unfortunately, if you behave like a greedy little pig on social networks, people will think your pushy pig tactics stink.

Stinky Pushy Pig Marketer Mistakes

– Only shouting about your business
– Scheduling the same sales messages to go out repeatedly via Social Networks
– Never sharing content from other people
– Not monitoring and responding to individual messages
– Aggressively following/friending large numbers of people without taking any interest in them

Inbound Marketing – The Work Horse

Inbound marketing involves pulling prospects to your business with messages that are attractive to them.

Think of Inbound marketing as the the polar opposite of the pushy pig cold call. Instead of coming right out with the sales message, inbound marketing involves sharing carefully selected useful content designed to be of interest to the target market.

One tactic used by inbound marketers is to supply a free download in exchange for the person’s contact details. The most common way to capture contact details is via an email signup form on a website, however Virally makes this process even easier. With Virally, if they are logged into a Social Media account like Facebook, they can access their download with a click of the mouse. By downloading this information, the person has opted into receive future marketing communications.

The free download approach gives the inbound marketer the chance to pull these prospects closer to making a buying decision by gradually building trust by demonstrating knowledge and credibility via the content they share.

Hitch up that Content Carriage to your Work Horse

Imagine that content marketing is like a carriage attached to a work horse. The work horse pulls the carriage full of content passengers along for the ride. The Work Horse Marketer knows the desired destination is a sale, but he’s taking the scenic route to allow the content passengers to enjoy the ride.

Characteristics of a Work Horse Marketer

Work Horse Marketers are appreciated for being useful, reliable and live to serve. Good Work Horse Marketers have the sense to be where they are wanted. They make it simple for people to hop on their content carriage. Then they ensure the ride is smooth by sharing information that continues to be of interest. If a Work Horse Marketer goes from sharing good content to shoving pushy pig sales messages, he’ll be making the ride too bumpy and many content passengers will jump off and unsubscribe. The longer the content passengers stay along for the ride, the more likely they are to notice the other qualities of the Work Horse.

The goal of content marketing is to get content passengers to realise that they want more than to sit back and enjoy quality content. The smooth content ride made them believe that the Work Horse is reliable, and they are ready to buy.

Work Horse Marketer Deeds

– consistently and frequently produce quality content
– make it simple for people to signup to receive your content
– create content that meets your content passengers’ expectations
– always ensure you send more informative marketing messages than sales messages
– share and prepare your content with specific content passengers in mind.

Remember the content marketing maxim, “be the work horse, not the pushy pig.”