Frankly, after all is said and done, ANYTHING that entertains or informs, be it a stand up performance, a funny joke, a cool logo, Taylor Swift’s new video, or the manual to your new iPhone is content and therefore potentially Content marketing. I use the word POTENTIALLY as I find TWO parameters especially helpful in understanding the value of mostly anything, a new recruit, a hair dryer, or content marketing.
IS IT USEFUL?
And more importantly, IS IT RELIABLE?
So while a poorly made instruction manual with incomplete or unclear information is also somewhere on this x/y grid of usefulness and reliability, we want to restrict our definition and attention to the top right corner which unfortunately is still a big and wide space where everyone wants to play.
IN PLACE OF DEFINITIONS
Industry thought leaders have given us some spectacularly worded definitions but sometimes, a simple focus on what something is and what it is not really makes the meaning come through.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. – From the Content Marketing Institute
WHAT CONTENT MARKETING MOST DEFINITELY IS
- It has a separate business/corporate agenda (sometimes obvious, sometimes not) in addition to perceived user/consumer edutainment.
- It seeks an emotional connection or to build a relationship and trust (or at least pretends to.. more on that later).
It’s as much art as it is science but it’s anything but new. It’s just business as usual but this time it dresses way nicer, picks you up in a stretch limo, and waits for at least 3 dates before trying to take you home.
WHAT CONTENT MARKETING MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT
- It is NOT a one way dialogue, advertisement, or brand speak that serves no exalted purpose but that of its own makers.
- It is NOT a not for profit, selfless act of service that seeks to save mankind from itself.
- It is also NOT a breakaway, contrarian, or new method of engagement especially for companies that have always kept user value central to their marketing strategy.
Simply put, good content marketing explores the overlap between the marketer’s area of interest and the user’s needs to create a mutually beneficial, symbiotic connection that exists as long as the marketer has an ability to sustain interest in that common space.
This article is an excerpt from the book “Content Marketing vs Marketing – A Traditional Marketer’s Guide to Content Marketing in 2018“. Get Your Free Copy Today!