The term “content marketing” is being seen and heard more and more today as brands are focusing more on content marketing to engage their customers. But what exactly is content marketing, and how can your business start its own content marketing strategy?
When experts in the world of marketing like Seth Godin are writing that “content marketing is all the marketing that’s left”, it’s a discipline that more and more brands are starting to take very seriously. According to a recent survey, nearly three quarters of digital marketers agree that brands are becoming publishers, and discussions around content marketing and brand journalism are increasing all the time.
Wikipedia’s definition of content marketing states that it “is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation and sharing of content in order to attract, acquire and engage clearly defined and understood current and potential consumer bases with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” This definition, although quite unwieldy, recognizes that content marketing has a very strong and defined purpose – it is strategically aligned to brand objectives or known audience types.
One marketing automation company defined content marketing as “creating and distributing digital assets for the purpose of achieving business results.” While true, this broad definition places an emphasis on the marketing, rather than the content, with no description of any of the qualities this content should have to be successful. The well-respected digital marketing organization Econsultancy has redefined content marketing for 2012 in a series of 14 adjectives. From sticky and sexy to shareable and trustworthy, Econsultancy’s definition reflects the importance of good-quality content, especially after Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm updates.
Digital copywriting agency Sticky Content places an emphasis on the importance of planning in order to bring a content marketing strategy to life. They say: “Content marketing is about providing your users with useful information that positions your brand as a trusted expert. But to do this well and to keep the content coming, you need a plan.” What’s also particularly relevant about this description is that it emphasizes the fact that information should be useful. Content marketing, if nothing else, is about providing value to the reader. If it’s not giving your audience something they can use, it’s not doing its job properly.
Want to improve the planning and performance of your content marketing? Speak to an agency with experience in planning content marketing.