Your Brochure Is Seller-Centric And Doesn't Count As 'Content Marketing'

A lot of companies don’t realize that brochures, capability statements, data sheets, case studies, comparisons, are not the objective, agnostic, ‘content’ people seek. They don’t drive traffic, because they amount to a given company talking about itself. With these fake offers, ‘helpfulness’ is undermined by companies trying to sell, or standing to benefit. Real offers help people – whether you get the sale or not.

The most common mistake we find in ‘content marketing’ is that people create content that serves them (the company), and which has no agnostic or objective value to the customer. Some examples, below, aren’t suitable as ‘offerings’, because they have contingent, or subjective, value: they are worthless unless someone buys your product, or unless someone wants to give you their attention. Or, they’re a kind of disingenuous offer – a discount.

Brochures, data sheets, comparison graphics, discounts, trials and freemiums are not ‘content offers’ in that they have no objective value; they only have contingent or subjective value – that is, value only if someone already has interest in, or buys, your product. They’re an ‘ask’ dressed up as an ‘offer’. They benefit the vendor.

Types of ‘fake content’, that’s really about you, include:

  • Brochures
  • Data Sheets
  • Product Comparisons (where you look good)
  • Discounts
  • Trials
  • Freemiums

You should see a pattern. These are all content that serve you; they are seller-centric. They are either overtly sales copy, or only have value after you’ve asked for something – time, attention – from a buyer. 

Actual content marketing is buyer-centric, and has objective, agnostic, value. It has value – as a pure offer with no ask – intrinsically, and whether a buyer selects you, or not.

Many companies do this. At some point, you need data sheets and brochures. But if these are the bulk of your ‘content’, you don’t have content marketing.