Content Marketing is fast becoming one of the most important components of the marketing mix. According to a recent study done by the Custom Content Council with Roper Affairs:
The stats are good news for content marketers:
Custom content is useful, accepted, helps to drive purchases, improves relationships, and comes in the format that people prefer.
So What Exactly is Content Marketing?
Content is a broad term that refers to anything created and uploaded to a website: the words, images, tools or other things that reside there. All of the pages of your website are content — all of the things you create as part of those pages or as part of your marketing — your videos, blogs, photographs, webinars, white papers, ebooks, podcasts and so on — are content. And finally, all of the things you publish at outposts that are off of your own site — your Facebook page, your Twitter stream, your LinkedIn group page, are forms of content.*
*Content Rules, Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman
Content Marketing is the function that links all of these content assets together and creates a consistent flow of information that is pushed out to the target consumer via social media, RSS feeds and engagement on third-party websites to reach your target consumer and begin to build a community of followers who engage with and share your information with their network of contacts.
Simply put, Content Marketing is the creation, curation and activation of all forms of brand content through the web. But the difference here is that the content is designed to address the consumer with relevant information when and where they are looking for such information — as opposed to interrupting them with your commercial message. So think of it as that article you found while searching for a topic of interest as opposed to the pop-up screen that you are trying to delete as soon as it interrupts you (from reading that fascinating article) on your computer screen. Got it?