Acunzo’s content marketing philosophy advocates pushing for content that constantly ups the ante.
Marketing and creativity guru Jay Acunzo is on a crusade. He wants his colleagues who make money creating content to stop “churning out copycat junk.”
“Content marketing would be a much better industry for both practitioners and audiences if we tried to do just one subtle new thing in each piece we created, rather than churn out more copycat junk,” Acunzo writes in a blog post, One Different Thing (A Challenge to Content Marketers & Producers). He urges his fellow creators to “add something new and different to everything they create.”
His blog, Sorry for Marketing, is full of advice for creating really great content, not the mediocre stuff everyone else generates. His mantra can be summed up as: “Make stuff people want, not make people want stuff.”
That’s an interesting concept considering the definition of marketing is “the action or business of promoting and selling products or services.”
Acunzo argues, in Content Creators: Are you a Cook or a Chef?, that there are two types of content creators. “People sit on a spectrum between being cooks — those who rely on recipes — and chefs — those who create original recipes by using the most raw ingredients and building up from there,” he writes. Acunzo admits he acts like a cook sometimes because he borrowed the idea of cook vs. chef from another blog, Wait But Why, by Tim Urban.
As Acunzo points out, some marketers are looking for the recipe and will devour blog posts like “12 Steps to Get More Twitter Followers for Your Business” or, worse, “How to Buy Twitter Followers.”
Other marketers act like chefs by creating their own recipes for success. To be a chef, Acunzo says, you need to understand businesses exist to solve customers’ problems or fulfill their desires, not sell products. You also need to understand who your audience is, where to find it and how to use each the social media platforms it engages with the most.
There’s no one-size-fits-all for content marketing. There’s no ideal word count for posts, no ideal social media content for all clients and no ideal method for getting your information out to customers.
How will you know if you’re a cook or a chef? “Making money is a sign that you’re successfully solving a customer’s problems (or, unfortunately for some, that you’re good at tricking others into thinking you’re doing that well),” Acunzo writes in his post, The Jargon Monster Cometh: What Is Content Marketing, REALLY?
Acunzo reminds us that “content marketing is just solving the same customer problems as your product, through media you create and distribute.”