Content Marketing

June 28, 2011

You keep hearing the term Content Marketing bandied about in smart circles (and if you’re not hearing this term, you’re either in the wrong circles or your hearing is crap). But most people don’t fully understand the concept. So, let me share with you what I think it is. You can correct me in the comments when you realize I have a slanted view of the value of content.

To me, Content Marketing is using the basic tools of communication (words, images, videos, sound) to further your goals. These goals can be educational, influence-based, altruistic or commercial. And everyone is jumping on the bandwagon whether they use the term or not.

In fact, the big ad buy is falling out of favor because advertising still only works 51% of the time while Content Marketing has the innate value of self-selecting an invested, affinity-laden audience.

If you want to get my attention, you won’t do so by advertising in Smithsonian…I’m not that smart. You won’t get me either by putting great content in Smithsonian. I use that as an example so I can jump over to Wired. Now, if you want my attention in Wired, you probably still won’t get it with a glossy ad, but you could get it by making your ad interactive in a techy way. And you could certainly get my attention if you could find a way to share your message in the body of the Wired articles.

That’s the rub. As church and state lines devolve in the journalism landscape, there are still factions that hold fast to keeping ads and content separate. This means there’s a huge opportunity for brands that actually have a story to tell. I don’t want this to devolve into a PR bashing session. But if you don’t have anything newsworthy to tell a journalist, then stop wasting their time.

Conversely, if your brand has done something amazing, seize that story and share it far and wide. That’s actually the best type of content marketing you can have.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? No, I didn’t even go into strategy or philosophy and I certainly rambled about. But I hope it was lucid enough to get you thinking about how brands and publications are interacting these days.