Content Marketing

Content Marketing is a concept that has generated a fire storm of interest on the internet, with good reason. The "perfect storm" of web –based instant information access, the social media phenomena, and mobile technology set against the deluge of in-your-face sales promotion coming from any number of directions, is creating a new and pervasive consumer mind-set.

New Mind-set

A new mind-set that says to that intense selling, "No thank you, I'll look for the information I need myself and I will make my purchasing judgments of product and provider by what I find." A simple statement perhaps, but one of great significance in its implication.

And the implication is that the old, established form of product advertising is becoming less and less effective. Those businesses and organizations that continue to rely on that form of product sales advertising will experience an ever decreasing market share. Content Marketing is the concept that responds positively to this seismic shift in market environment.

The Content Marketing Institute definition

"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty."
Content Marketing Institute web site

Another take

"Content marketing is non-promotional information that entertains and/or helps your prospects, customers and the public while supporting your purchase process."
Heidi Cohen, a well-known author of marketing information and advice

The key words here are "non-promotional information that entertains and/or helps". Content Marketing is NOT advertising or other forms of promotion. It IS providing useful information that builds an audience and respect for you and/or your brand.

Conclusion

To wrap up, consider a commonly held view, "This Content Marketing stuff is pretty new. I don't think I'm ready for it." Here's what The Grande Guide to B2B Content Marketing has to say about that…

"The truth is that content as a marketing asset is nothing new: In 1900, tire-manufacturer Michelin began producing the Michelin Guide to help drivers maintain their cars, find decent lodging and great food while touring France. Jell-O's recipe books helped push Jell-O sales to $1 million—a fortune in 1906.

So how did these two initiatives work out?