Content is NOT King

23.07.20 | aron skversky
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With a clickbait-ey title like that, I’m setting us up for an exciting time here!


Welcome to the Atreo Growth Mindset blog, where we’ll discuss everything about performance marketing, revenue analytics, business goals, and how you turn your brand into sweet, sweet green.


We’ll be tackling everything from high-level strategies such as ABM, all the way down to some rather combative opinions about Quality Score on Google Ads. The main theme that’ll persist throughout is a (un)healthy obsession with quantifiable results that you can take to the bank. So let’s get started!


“Content is King.” Bill Gates said it back in ’96. Now, he was talking about monetizing content itself, but Hubspot and many others adopted it as something of a mantra when speaking about marketing.


Something I’ve heard a ton from marketing people is aversion of the following sentence:


Our target audience does not care about us or our product. We need to provide real value in order to have any real effect.


Seems like a pretty airtight argument. Let’s see what we can do to dismantle it.

First off, I’ll grant a few points:

  1. Most of your target audience does not care about you or your product
  2. You’ll get a significantly higher response rate and increased virality if you serve your target audience valuable content
  3. Valuable content serves to develop your voice and authority in a perpetually increasingly competitive marketing landscape


I’d agree that you need content in order to build your business.


However, when considering what to pay to promote, I generally recommend taking a much narrower approach.


Many (if not most) marketing teams I speak to are evaluated on a combination of cost-per-Sales-qualified-lead (CPSQL) and SQL volume. That is, how much does it cost to drive a lead that the Sales team gives a thumbs-up and says “I can sell to this guy,” and how many of those leads can we bring? These must, of course, be people that have expressed some interest in the product itself – otherwise they’re not an SQL.


When taken in this context, you start to think a little more critically about what you’re paying for. You start to break down everything you’re doing into its disparate parts to make sure every dollar you’re spending is well-deployed.


Let’s jump into the math section of the post. My favorite :)


For the below examples, I’m using industry benchmark data and our experience here at Atreo in terms of conversion rates and CPCs.


Promoting content

For this example, I’m assuming you’re promoting an amazingly valuable eBook via LinkedIn, and that you’ve gated your content, in order to nurture users via Marketing Automation.


The above is, I’d say, relatively optimistic in terms of conversion rates. You can also extend a similar logic to non-gated content and videos for which you then apply remarketing.


Cutting straight to the chase

For this example, we’ll assume we’re promoting a demo via LinkedIn.



You can see that CPCs are expected to be higher here (as CTR is likely to be lower). 2% is also relatively low for a conversion rate,and 20% is low for SQL rate. It’s important to note here that your lead-to-SQL cycle is much much faster – no nurturing involved.

The bottom line

The bottom line here is that there is no bottom line. You need to freakin’ test, and see what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes you’ll have an amazing piece of content that will take the industry by storm, and generate tons of product interest. Sometimes your Sales team maybe desperate for Opps and you have to take a more frontal approach. Different audiences behave differently. You may even have an ABM strategy, which blows the math above out of the water entirely.


And we didn’t even get into different types of content. Suffice it to say that a 300-word blog post ≠ high-quality well-produced video.


And again, you do need content. You need PR. You need Product Marketing. And SalesOps & Revenue Analytics. And you need performance marketing. These overlap and interact in a myriad of ways.


So content is NOT king.


Rather, content is an important part – but by no means the only part – of a complex oligarchy of different marketing assets, platforms, methodologies, and sources.

Really rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?


Well, that wraps that up! I’d be very glad to hear comments or thoughts, and I’m accepting any and all hate-mail to [email protected]. Give me a holler!

In the next post, we’ll be covering ABM – what it is,what it isn’t, and some important strategies.

Till then, let’s adopt a growth mindset!

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