There’s no doubt that content marketing works. You’re reading this blog, so that’s proof. But how will the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation alter content in 2018?
It seems the whole world and his mother is producing content these days. But surely there is a limit on the amount of time any executive can spend consuming this free knowledge. So is there a danger we will reach content-overload and what are the consequences?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is real. It’s coming and few are prepared for the impact. The new law (enforceable during 2018) clearly states that brands will need permission before sending emails, direct mail or calling prospective customers. Right across Europe, the broadly opt-out system for direct marketing consent will change to an opt-in rule.
Under these conditions, the logical way to get consent is to super-charge your content engine. More white papers, more webinars and more infographics. Those companies that do not already have a content engine will rush to jump on the bandwagon.
The result will be an avalanche of content that quickly reaches saturation point.
SMEs that already deliver good content will see response rates fall, and new entrants to content marketing will be left unimpressed by the figures. It is perhaps only the bigger brands who have an existing network of evangelists that will remain unaffected.
What action can you take?
Content marketing is a great way to generate warm leads at the early stages of the buying process. If you want to continue after 2018 you will need to position your company as an expert now and boost your audience of followers.
You’ll need to form strategic alliances with complementary products or services and pool your expertise to deliver more unbiased knowledge. Paying for content written by Editors and Consultants outside of your organisation will also become an effective (but expensive?) method.
But content is not the only solution in a post-GDPR world. Always remember that switchboard telephone numbers are not personal data and therefore outside of the GDPR. A good sales agent will be able to navigate around the receptionist or gatekeeper and reach your target decision-maker.
This post is part of a series about the General Data Protection Regulation; the full list of posts include ‘How Brexit impacts marketing data in the UK‘ | ‘3 tips: Steal my GDPR plan‘ | ‘The GDPR became law yesterday… and nobody cared‘ | ‘Get ready for Data Protection ambulance chasers‘ | ‘10 Must-know facts about the new EU data law‘ | ‘Want prospects to opt-in? Call them‘ | ‘You don’t need ‘opt-in’ to store a switchboard number‘ | ‘What can these guys teach you about opt-in marketing?‘ | ‘How content marketing will change after 2018‘ | ‘Winning Edge: Counter a direct threat‘