What is Content Marketing? What isn’t Content Marketing these days?!
Perhaps more importantly – what does Content Marketing do for me?
Marketing is changing.
Some say it’s already changed.
Ads on TV, ads on radio, ads on practically every page in magazines, ads in your mail box and your email inbox. All those ads interrupting whatever ‘content' you were enjoying.
Now the content IS the marketing. And that content has to be something the audience wants to interact with, that is asked for, searched for, invited in to their life. All done in order to Know, Like and Trust your brand. [don't forget – ALL organizations have a ‘brand', even you solos out there]
That said, there are nearly as many definitions of ‘content marketing’ as there are marketing experts, gurus, books and blogs. But there are plenty of points in common pointing to what ‘content marketing’ is, or should be.
Also, it’s helpful to know some of the common thoughts on content marketing are more myth than meat. We’ll note and bust some of those myths as we go along in this series.
‘content marketing is building an audience that builds your organization or business’ [CopyBlogger]
Video on CM from CopyBlogger
‘content that attracts people to your site, gives them something they want, and gets them to come back’
‘smart content doesn’t have an expiration date … it’s the information annuity that can’t be replicated elsewhere.’
[ Jay Baer ]
‘content in this ‘new world’ is still content FOR marketing … you create and share relevant, valuable information that attracts people to you, building credibility, trust and authority’ [Ann Handley, Content Rules bk, Chief Content Officer of Marketing Profs, co-founder of ClickZ ]
‘all those communication pieces you’ve created for years – newsletters, articles, direct mail letters, brochures, press releases, web pages, videos – they’re all ‘Content’. What’s different now is that instead of just pushing that content in front of people, we want to use it to pull them to us…’
[Kivi Leroux Miller, Content Marketing for Nonprofits]
You’ll also hear terms like ‘attract’, ‘magnetize’, ‘pull’, ‘draw in’, ‘invite’ and ‘engage’. Or ‘inbound marketing' or maybe ‘pull marketing'. Similar ideas there, right?
Your communications are drawing your customers, clients or users IN towards your organization and its offerings instead of you pushing your marketing OUT to your audience. You attract your audience TO you. You give them reasons to keep coming back again and again to your site, your organization, your brand.
Content marketing is much more than just writing on a blog
hmm, like this one?!
But blogging can be a part of a content marketing strategy.
Content marketing is more than podcasts or interviews, or videos. But those a/v formats can be great sources of traffic, educational material and give your brand some personality, all in a well-crafted strategy.
Content marketing is more than just a format of content.
It’s more than just the words or pictures or graphs that make up the all-important ‘content’. The form is secondary.
It’s the ideas – the teaching, the problem solving, that are most important. Create your ideas first and then figure out the best way to deliver them.
The type of content you share is related to what your organization’s goals are, your purpose or mission.
Line up your content marketing goals, and then plans, with your organization's overall goals and vision. They have to align for this to work. The content you create, curate, share or repurpose must have a purpose. Is it helping your audience to do something they really want and need to do or achieve? If so, that's great content and greater for your bottom line.
If you’re a solopreneur with a service business, it’s related to the prospects and clients you want to attract and sign on to your services. Are you creating content they want to read, about the challenges they face, and you offer solutions to?
If you’re a nonprofit, it’s related to educating your potential donors or volunteers about your cause and its mission. Are you offering content that tells a story about what will happen if they donate now, and the ongoing disasters if they don't? Is your content making them feel like their support is valued and makes a difference?
That's a lot to take in if you're new to the concept of content marketing.
So keep coming back as we dig deeper and deeper into the nuts and bolts of making this work for us. Coming up will be posts on Content Marketing 101, Is Content Marketing Really New?, Why Should I Care About CM If I ‘m Not ‘Selling'?, The Greatest Lie of Content Marketing and How to Set CM Goals. Plus so much more!