For years now, as content marketing has braised in ubiquity and flirted with saturation, most marketers have felt growing pressure to produce volumes of searchable, shareable, Mashable, HuffPost-able, and Buzzfeed-able content to capture fleeting looks and attention from an increasingly distracted audience.

Amid our tireless listicle creation, we've fought a parallel battle with the voice inside ourselves making a very compelling argument that less is more, and that quality trumps quantity.

We know instinctively that the path to content righteousness should lie in authenticity, value, and originality—but many of us have succumbed to the pressure of hollow metrics and competitive paranoia:

  • "Our page views are down? Better post a top 10!"
  • "The competition is getting more likes than we are! Create another video!"
  • "Our search ranking did what? Double the keyword mentions in your next blog!"

In a self-perpetuating quest to outpace ourselves, we've inadvertently solved for an abstraction instead of solving for the real objective: to build a more intimate relationship with our customers through content.

Here are three ways that every content marketer can bring back intimacy into the customer journey.

1. Connect the product creators directly with the product consumers

This way is about authenticity and credibility. It's particularly important in industries like IT, where the marketers frequently don't resemble the personas they're marketing to.

As a marketer, if you're not a true expert in your product or technology, and if you don't resemble your target persona, the content you create will always be marginally inauthentic or, in the worst case, inaccurate. You can choose from two options to overcome this:

  1. You can invest hundreds of hours becoming a product expert.
  2. You can change the communication path entirely.

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image of Brendan Reid

Brendan Reid is vice-president of Marketing at Exinda and author of the acclaimed career book Stealing the Corner Office—The Winning Career Strategies They'll Never Teach You in Business School.

LinkedIn: Brendan Reid 

Twitter: @brendanmreid