Inspire others by Nina Matthews Photography on FlickrInbound marketing is really pretty simple; create remarkable content, share it with your friends and then convert that interest into business. It’s just too bad that simple doesn’t alway mean easy. And, boy, this stuff sure ain’t easy.There are a few reasons why businesses struggle with inbound marketing. The first and (arguably) most difficult hurdle is buying into the concept in the first place. There’s a comfort level associate with outbound marketing. Even if it’s not working as well as it did 10 or 20 years ago, it’s the devil you know. Plus, there’s that whole “generosity” thing. Most companies aren’t in the business of giving stuff away and have a hard time with that conceptually.But what about those who do buy in? Why are they having a rough go of it? From what I can see, it usually comes down to the content. It’s not remarkable and it absolutely must be remarkable if they’re going to be successful.

What Is Remarkable Content?

[nonmember]The Inbound Marketing Inquirer is a weekly premium article that’s free to view for members. Create a free account now:

[register_inquirers (free)][/nonmember]


I’ve been using several criteria to describe remarkable content for several years and the more I observe, the more I believe in these three tests. Good content either educates, entertains or inspires. Great content does all three.

Remarkable Content characteristics


Education is the cornerstone of content marketing. Any business that has domain expertise should be able to generate content that makes people smarter at what they do. It’s important – no, critical – that the content makes the reader better able to accomplish one of their own goals, not one of yours. I say this because some people might consider a product brochure to be educational.


Sometimes content is remarkable because it finally inspires us to do something we already knew we should but hadn’t done for one reason or another. Nike is quite possibly the king of inspirational content. Most marketing is focused on fulfilling demand. When you educate people about your products and services, you’re assuming (and/or hoping) that there is a demand. When you inspire, you’re creating demand.


Sometimes content is remarkable because it makes us laugh or cry. The most frequently viral content on the Internet is funny. Whether it’s “the most interesting man in the world” or “Charlie bit me” or cats on treadmills, humor goes a long way. Military reunion videos have become a tearjerking viral phenomenon. When it comes to content marketing for businesses, this is probably the toughest to pull off. We tend to think that anything entertaining is “unprofessional” and doesn’t belong in serious business discussion. Maybe you don’t have the comedic timing of Dollar Shave Club or the video production skills of HubspotBlendtec took a fairly pedestrian product and created an Internet sensation with its low budget, deadpan product demonstrations.


Educational content is the meat and potatoes of inbound marketing. When it’s done well, it can really help increase traffic and generate leads. But when you can add inspiration and/or entertainment to the mix, it takes your content marketing to a whole new level.


Top Marketing Stories of the Week

5 Ridiculous SEO Myths That People Believe

There’s a difference between truisms or ethical stances and opinions masquerading as facts. This article attempts to separate the two.

Read more…

Q&A with Google’s Avinash Kaushik: Marketing without shouting

Quartz speaks with Avinash to discuss how brands must interact in authentic ways with their customers, either outside or within loyalty programs, if they want to meaningfully impact the bottom line.

Read more…

10 Surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy

If you’re managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are ten that might make you rethink the way you’re approaching social media.

Read more…

Free Inbound Marketing Self-assessment Guide