Oscar Wilde once said:
“There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
I’m sure that all of you can think of someone right now who subscribes to the philosophy that any press is good press.
But there is something to be said about exposure. Almost every company on the planet wants it. They pay for it.
They fight for it.
It’s the lifeblood of business. If nobody knows who you are and what you do, you’re dead.
In my view, one of the best ways to gain exposure today is content marketing. Marketing sometimes has negative connotations, but content marketing is probably the least offensive varietal. It’s a soft, rather than hard, approach. It invites you in and tries to earn your trust, instead of hitting you over the head with an ask.
But at the same time, it’s a more difficult form of marketing. You have to be insightful. You have to be useful. And you have to try and create value for people on a regular basis. That’s easier said than done. I try and do that every day, but I don’t always succeed.
I say all this because we live in a content-driven world. In fact, this blog – despite it being a personal one – is a form of content marketing. I like how Fred Wilson responded on his blog to the criticism that too many entrepreneurs treat venture capital blogs as scripture:
“So how should entrepreneurs use this knowledge that is being imparted by VCs on a regular basis? Well first and foremost, you should see it as content marketing. That is what it is. That doesn’t mean it isn’t useful or insightful. It may well be. But you should understand the business model supporting all of this free content. It is being generated to get you to come visit that VC and offer them to participate in your Seed or Series A round. That blog post that Joe claimed is not scripture in his tweet is actually an advertisement. Kind of the opposite of scripture, right?”
Again, that doesn’t make the content necessarily bad. It’s just the truth. It’s content marketing.