Content Marketing

Real Definition of Content Marketing

Content marketing is confusing. It sounds promising but when I ask people what it is, I get less than conclusive answers.

I looked up content marketing and found these definitions

“Content marketing is an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases.”

General term for Article Marketing, Audio Marketing and Video Marketing where you get traffic by giving away free ‘content’.

Publishing content that interests an audience, in the same way a magazine publisher produces content. Good content is often of interest to other web publishers, who may introduce your content to their audience. This builds an audience without search being involved. …

These definitions make the error of using the term to define itself.  Essentially “content marketing is using content to market your product.”  Oh boy.

That’s why clients phone me, at wit’s end, wondering what the hell they are supposed to do with the latest tool in the marketing arsenal.

So What is Content Marketing?

It helps to start with the outcome.  What does content marketing do?

Simply, content marketing informs your audience.  The best content shows readers something that they’ve never seen before.  It surfaces information that readers find helpful.

Content marketing also educates.  It shows readers how to think about a topic.  Done right, content marketing establishes an approach for considering a product, service, or topic.

Next, content marketing is targeted at a specific group. Content marketing for businesses speaks to prospects and customers.  Non-profit content marketing appeals to donors and potential volunteers.

Last, content marketing delivers a return on investment.  Businesses need their content marketing to drive profits.  They want to see more sales for each marketing dollar invested.  Content marketing does an amazing job at delivering that bottom-line result.

What makes content marketing special is that it works best when the material is entertaining, informative and memorable.  It works even better when the business understands their story and how to communicate that story using video, ebooks, special reports, webinars, and social dialogue.


I think that the definition of content marketing should be:

Storytelling for Sales

Storytelling because you a can’t break through the clutter and catch your customer’s attention without telling an amazing story.

Sales makes the “authenticity is the only goal” crowd cringe but sales = profit.  You can’t have a business without profits.  Of course it’s obvious that your story has to match your actions.

Fairy Tales for Sales is advertising not content marketing.

Think about your content marketing.  Does it work without sales or a story?

What do you think?

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