Most content being produced is a waste of time and money. The reason is that it suffers from the number one reason content marketing fails – it has an inside-out perspective. It’s the content marketing equivalent of a selfie.

mona-lisa-selfie-dedumortiersThere’s a lot of content being produced right now, as the interest in content marketing continues to rise. But most of that content will never be read or used in any fashion. Why? Because it suffers from the number one reason why content marketing efforts fail. It has an inside-out perspective. Or, to put it even more plainly, it deals with what you and your company think is important, not what your customers will find relevant and useful. It’s the content marketing equivalent of taking a selfie.

Content marketing is all about providing value to your customers, to understand their problems and opportunities fully and then show them how your solution will help them. But in order to do that you have to spend a lot of time and resources on getting to know your customers, to research the state of their industries, to understand the realities of their market. Most companies don’t do that at all, instead they spend most of the time looking inwards.

An inside-out perspective means that you and your colleagues are more concerned with what happens in your own organization, you study the realities of your own departments and you focus on the internal cycles of production, marketing and development. It becomes more important to plan your own events than to help your customers become better at what they do. That’s right, you’re stuck in selfie-land.

Constantly looking inwards will impact your communication and marketing immensly. Not only in what you are talking about, but also the way you do it. You will highlight the things you think are important about your products, rather than how they help your customers. You will use a language filled with internal jargon and acronyms, instead of making sure that everyone understands what you are talking about.

If you are this type of company, it will not matter one bit if you decide to invest in content marketing. Because your content will be useless. It will be inward-looking, have an inside-out perspective and will only be relevant to yourself. Certainly not to your customers. This is the biggest mistake you can make in content marketing

So what can you do about it? Actually transforming your company into having a customer-focus will take time. And patience. But there is one thing you can do straight away. Gather some key stakeholders from all the departments that interact with your customers. Sales people, customer service reps, technicians, etc. Find the time to pool your insights about your customers in a structured way. Identify roles, pain points, obstacles, gatekeepers, and so on. Combine your insights into a format that can be used and shared throughout the organization. It’s a small, but vital step in becoming a company that really understands and pays attention to its customers.The equivalent of a person who’s interested in snapping pics of what’s going on in the world rather than pointing the camera at himself or herself.

And being that kind of company is a necessity if you’re going to create content that has value.