Is Your Marketing Strategy Content Chum?

Just because you have a boat, a pole and a tackle box full of lures doesn’t mean you know how to fish. Likewise, just because your are cranking out content and calling it content marketing, doesn’t mean you’re actually catching customers. When it comes your content marketing strategy, ask yourself, “Am I customer fishing or just ‘content chumming?'”


People who actually catch fish know that fishing is more science than luck. Fisherman know how to find fish, which baits to use, and are agile enough to shift strategies when necessary. They know it isn’t enough to drive out, toss a line in the water and expect success.

However, that is how a lot of businesses approach content marketing strategies. They throw some content into the marketplace expecting to catch success but find their content marketing strategy is little more than “content chum,” a bunch of content bits floating in the vast marketplace. The organization may be attracting attention but not actually catching anyone. The goal of a focuses content marketing strategy is to actually land customers and establish or reinforce your organization’s brand. 

Here are four ideas to keep in mind when developing a content marketing strategy that will ensure you’re customer fishing and not content chumming.

1. Know which customers you want to catch.

Lakes and rivers are teeming with a variety of fish but most fishermen leave the dock focused on catching a specific species, like bass. Likewise, the marketplace is teeming with millions of people, but not all of them are your customers. Do you know which segment of that marketplace you want to catch, and do you understand that segment well enough to actually be successful?

2. Know if you have the right “tackle.”

The reason fishermen have so many lures in their tackle boxes is because they know that changing environmental conditions affect the ability to catch fish. Likewise, content is your “tackle.” Is the message you’re sending connecting with the audience? Is it luring people by answering questions they may not yet have thought to ask? Your content has to be the solution to their problem.

3. Know your strategy.

People who repeatedly catch fish leave the dock with a strategy. They know where they are going, what they’ll cast when they get there and have a plan they’ll work until it no longer lands fish. Same with your content strategy. What is is you want potential clients to know? How will you reinforce your value by repeatedly saying the same thing in different ways? What’s the frequency with which you’ll cast? What are your distribution channels through which you’ll consistently “cast” your content? (Be sure to read, “Does Your Communications Strategy Have One Rail or Two?”).

4. Know when to adjust your strategy.

It isn’t uncommon for fishermen to “work” the same spot both morning and evening but use completely different lures. Conditions such as light, temperature, feeding schedules, etc., cause adjustments. Same with your strategy. If potential customers are swimming around your content but not taking the bait, make adjustments.

If your organization is going to launch a content marketing strategy then it should do so with a goal in focus and an intentional strategy to get there. The idea is to go out and catch something, otherwise, you’re just content chumming.


I write...a lot, and use social and traditional media strategies to help people and organizations communicate better.

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