Content Marketing Definition and Why It Works
MARCH 23, 2010:
Brian Haugen, Interactive Marketing Strategist
Guest Blogger Content Marketing Custom Publishing Marketing Strategy
I thought it would be nice to get back to basics and take a fresh look at one of the hottest marketing terms
of late: content marketing.
First, let's frame things a bit by coming to a content marketing definition
Wikipedia has an entry defining custom media
: "Custom media is a marketing term referring broadly to the development, production and delivery of media (print, digital, audio, video, events) designed to strengthen the relationship between the sponsor of the medium and the medium's audience. It is also called branded media, customer media, member media, content marketing
, and custom publishing in the US; contract publishing and customer publishing in the UK."
Wikipedia also has an entry that's specifically titled Content Marketing
, saying: "Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content ... content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information ... drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing ... improv[es] brand loyalty better than traditional marketing techniques."
The Custom Publishing Council, which recently changed their name to the Custom Content Council
, says: "Custom publishing marries the marketing ambitions of a company with the information needs of its target audience. This occurs through the delivery of editorial content – via print, Internet, and other media – so intrinsically valuable that it moves the recipient’s behavior in a desired direction."
Finally, the Junta42 Content Marketing blog
proposes these Five Pillars of Content Marketing
. "Content Marketing is:
Editorial-based (or long-form) content. It must tell a relevant, valuable story. Must be informative, educational or entertaining.
Marketing-backed. The content has underlying marketing and sales objectives that a corporation, association or institution is trying to accomplish.
Behavior-driven. Seeks out to maintain or alter the recipient's behavior.
Multi-platform (print, digital, audio, video, events). It can be, does not have to be, integrated.
Targeted toward a specific audience. If you can't name the audience, it's not content marketing."
Here are my key highlights and takeaways from these definitions.
is a recurring keyword. Specifically, the definitions explain that content marketing's aim is to alter or modify the recipient's behavior. Funny that they couldn't think of a nicer way to put it. It's as if they're implying that the "recipient" is doing something wrong. I suppose that not buying your product really is a mortal sin (of course, I'm mostly joking here).
come up a couple times. Now this is a little more interesting. While influencing behavior can definitely result in getting others to do what you want, it really comes across as a one way street. As Ben Franklin famously said, "you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar." Content is the honey of marketing messaging.
In a vinegary world of pop-up ads, TV commercials, direct response marketing, and even contextual advertising, building a relationship through relevant, beneficial, useful, and entertaining content can be seen a a breath of fresh air that goes a lot further to build relationships between brands and customers.
So that's what content marketing is all about. Now, staying with the back to basics theme, why does content marketing work?
I think the definitions shed some light with the whole behavior and relationships theme. But there's more to it. Content marketing works because:
It is inbound marketing, not relying on intrusion or interruption.
It fosters loyalty and keeps your existing customers around. How much harder do they say it is to find new customers? I forget, but it's a lot.
It can easily create marketing evangelists, because people will feel like they made the decision to engage with your brand.
It is easy to pinpoint a message toward diverse audiences. A good writer can win the hearts and minds of many different people. All they need is the right vehicle to publish the content.
Do you have any other thoughts on why content marketing works? Feel free to share your comment on this post or message me directly!
This blog post was originally published on the Priority Blog at priorityresults.com/blog. Priority Integrated Marketing is now BlueSpire Strategic Marketing.