Content Marketing Series: #1. What is content marketing?

19/11/15

For the next six weeks we’ll be bringing you a series on Content Marketing. But what is it and what does it mean for your business?

The Content Marketing Institute defines it is a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

That’s a succinct definition, but what does it actually mean? You’ve most probably heard the words “content marketing”, from someone who is confident in the fact they know what it is, so much so it’s become just another piece of marketing jargon to them and a whole lot of “huh?!” to you.

Let us try and explain...

In a digital world that’s tired of blatant advertising, and where you can download the latest advertising-blocking operating system on your iPhone (iOS9) or go straight for an adblocker on your tablet or PC, marketing departments are having to come up with creative new ways to reach their market demographic. Why? Because their target market is doing all they can to block those blimmin' ads!

Traditional (in-your-face) advertising is swiftly slipping out the back door, along with the traditional forms of media it’s printed or advertised on. Daily newspapers are becoming thinner by the month, and there are alarming staff cuts in national and regional television and radio stations throughout the country. This is, without a doubt, because of lack of revenue coming in as advertisers are finding other ways to market and use their advertising dollars creatively: most likely in the digital environment.

But how can these marketers still get to you with an ad block in place?

Great question! This is where content marketing shines. You can have every adblocker under the sun installed, but content marketing will always find you, and it will always hit its demographic because you’re either in the market for it, or it will make you feel that you are.

Content marketing is that video you watched on YouTube on how to get rid of those pesky mice you have (https://youtu.be/gPH54f_tUog); it’s that article you read about the nappies that are more breathable than the rest. It’s that post a friend of yours ‘liked’ or commented on which came up on your Facebook feed about losing that extra ‘padding’ by Christmas through Weight Watchers, and the photo you saw on Instagram that made you want to go and buy that tanning product to give you a healthy summer glow. It’s those Black Boxes everyone is raving about (cunning content marketing!), and it’s those demonstration videos you see when you pop to Mitre 10 which entices you to buy something not on your shopping list.

There is, in fact, content marketing coming at you from more directions than you may realise. It grabs your attention because it means something to you as an individual. But are you taking notice? Take a look at your shopping receipts, your bank statements. Chances are you bought many of those items because content marketing reached you without even realising it.

So, whether you actually realised it at the time, the content marketing message either added value to your day, entertained you or made you feel like you needed that product or service, and this is what content marketing is all about: “... a strategic marketing approach focussed on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience - and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action”.

Our content marketing series will include:

- History
- Types of
- Success stories 
- 3Ps (planning, production, publishing) 
- How to create great content on a regular basis: ‘I see content everywhere’