Before we define it, it let’s just understand what impact this has in 2018.
91% of B2B marketers and 86% of B2C marketers are planning to use it in their campaigns.
Businesses publishing 16-plus posts a month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than businesses publishing zero to four articles.
80% of marketers can demonstrate with metrics how content marketing has improved their audience engagement.
64% of consumers purchase after watching branded social videos.
You could argue that the above stats tells us is that content is important. So, then what is content marketing?
The Content Marketing Institute defines it as 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.
However, the simplest description I ever found of content marketing was from CMI’s co-founder Robert Rose, who said traditional marketing is “content for a product “ whereas content marketing is "content as a product".
Think about that for the moment. What does traditional marketing tell us? We have a product. We need to tell people about the product and all it’s glorious features. Where do we tell them this? Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and our website. Oh, there’s this new thing called Snapchat and apparently kids love it. Fine, let’s tell them about it on there as well. Who’s going to create all this content? Assign to an intern. Hire an agency. Ok, go.
Cue three months later, and you end up with dead assets on a stagnating channel, with almost no engagement, wondering where it all went wrong.
Take a step back from that approach. What if instead we said from the beginning, that we have two products. One product is the thing or service we are selling. And it’s a given that we will create some material to describe it.
But we have a second product, which is "what we say". And what we say is going to be so so good, that ultimately people will want to give us their money for it. Yeah. That good. We’re going to treat what we have to say seriously, give it all the love and attention it needs. And we are going to keep refining the message to find people who have an unmet demand that our content can help. No strings attached.
Content marketing gives you ways to generate revenue from the same or new customers. And these customers don’t go away if your product changes, they stick with you because of what you have to say. And that cannot be replicated easily.
The catch? This is incredibly hard to do, takes a lot of trial and error. And most organisations don’t have the patience to do this properly.
Good thing then that you aren’t just any organisation, right?