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Never-ending Content

How Content Marketing is like Academic PublishingCan You Run Out of Content for Your Blog?

At our Team Tenato pow-wow recently, an interesting topic of discussion came up:  Can we really create indefinite content about any subject (for example, a client in the plumbing industry)?    Isn’t there only so much to write in a given blog?

An “Academic” Analogy

When taking my MBA Thesis a few years ago, I took a course on the “academic world” – i.e. How to navigate a career in the ivory towers of universities and colleges, as a professor. Perhaps I thought it would be interesting as an eventual career path, upon retirement! Now, I don’t remember a whole bunch about that course, because it only took a pinch to realize that the politically sensitive world of post-secondary institution teaching wasn’t for me, but I do remember something that really stuck:

Universities don’t place a lot of value on professors who are great teachers. They  prefer professors who are great researchers, and who get published.  

Not that teaching skills don’t matter at all.  But the prestige, the clout, and the big coin goes to researching and publishing professors who raise the profile of the university. In other words, academic publishing (i.e. content development) is cornerstone of how universities market themselves, and they’ve been doing it for decades — before blogging even existed.

Researching shows that you are at the cutting edge of a given field.  You are creating the knowledge.  You know the latest.  You are interacting with and scrutinizing your peers. When you get published in one of those elite academic journals, that brings accolades and prestige to the university.

And by the way, most of the heavy lifting on that research comes from students, i.e. “research assistants.”

But stop publishing, and you’re left behind (unless your old research was so groundbreaking that you can ride on that “one hit” the rest of your life!)  So, if you stop, the university needs to bring in more researching professors.  Or the university loses ground in the competitive sphere of the academic world.   There can be NO stopping of research, unless the university is planning to close its doors.

How The Academic Analogy is Applies to Your Business

So bring this home to your blogging — or shall we say content marketing (also known as “inbound marketing”) program.

You need to be doing your own industry research to stay fresh.  And your publishing of content shows you’re the industry expert.  Your “research assistants” can be your content or marketing team.

Do you skip reading the latest?  Miss industry conventions?  Pull back and keep to yourself? You’ll be surpassed by people who ARE out there researching (and yes, working in your field developing case studies is a kind of research), finding new ideas, and writing about them.

So YES – there will always be new content, as long as you are “out there” bettering your knowledge and developing within your business community.

True, the RATE at which you put out new content should be adjusted to the RATE at which you have worthwhile new content.   But there should always be something new – and quite regularly – that you either discover yourself, or that you’ve learned through others and can offer an expert opinion on.    Running out of content generally means you haven’t been to a trade show in awhile, or read an industry journal, or perhaps done any new projects that gave you any new challenges.  Any of these are great ways to stimulate new content ideas.  Not publishing anything new makes your company seem stale, out of touch, and this is really why Google ranks those sites lower.

After all, the internet started out a tool to share knowledge, and so shall it continue to be.   Share them and you are marketing to succeed.


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About the Author - Jacqueline Drew
Jacqueline M. Drew, BComm, MBA is founder and CEO of Tenato Strategy Inc., a marketing research and strategy firm with bases in Calgary, Vancouver and Toronto. With over 25 years' experience in all facets of marketing strategy, she is a business consultant, trainer and speaker who loves to use her superpowers "to help the good guys win."