I’ve been involved in quite a few discussions about content marketing. More often than not, there’s a real difference of opinion over what it actually is….
According to the Chartered Institute of Marketing, it’s generally agreed that ‘at the heart [of content marketing] is the creation and distribution of valuable and relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience with the objective of driving profitable customer action.’ (Content Marketing Report, 2014)
There are two schools of thought about this.
The first argues that content marketing should differ from brand voice and personality. Ultimately, with content marketing, you want to be delivering information that makes the buyer more knowledgeable about a brand.
The risk is that unless you are becoming content-centric, you’re just broadcasting and adding to ‘the noise’ that’s already out there, without offering your audience anything meaningful or memorable.
The second school of thought argues that content marketing offers up nothing new when it comes to the art of communication: educating buyers about a brand is something everyone should be doing already. If marketers aren’t, they certainly should be. Content marketing has been around for a long time (in newspapers or specialised publications, for example). There’s nothing new about the concept of it – ‘content marketing’ is merely a new buzzword (and, some might say, meaningless jargon).
I know my Directors fall into the latter camp: all your marketing assets should be integrated into the broader set of growth-driving activities. If they’re not, people like me aren’t not doing our job properly.
What I do consider to be different, however, are the dynamics and opportunities that content marketing can afford a brand. For example, brands can now communicate directly and instantly through platforms like Twitter, Facebook and other social networks. The audience can now join the conversation about a new development in fashion, sports or any other niche. This is sometimes referred to as reactive marketing or real-time marketing. We will look into this further in a future blog piece.
Whether you agree with one school of thought or the other, one thing is for sure: content marketing describes marketers going back to basics.
And that, my friends, can only be a good thing.
To find out more about how we can help you generate engaging and quality content across both digital and print platforms, please contact our Marketing Manager, Natasha French by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 020 8390 0035.