There is an old adage in the marketing world that says “content is king.” That has never been more true than in today’s topsy-turvy world of marketing. Coupled with all the upheavals wrought by social media, there sits a relatively new moniker: content marketing. But if the adage is as old as all that, how new can content marketing be?
Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has noted that forms of content marketing stretch as far back as the 1890s when John Deere began publishing a regular magazine – The Furrow – about farming and (no surprise) farm equipment. No doubt that CMI is riding the wave of content marketing through its regular online postings, Chief Content Officer magazine and its annual Content Marketing World conferences. Drawing several thousand people from nearly three dozen countries stands as testament to the importance and impact that content marketing enjoys today.
Is there any difference between “content is king” and content markeing? To fully grasp the concept of content marketing, it would help to ensure that we’re all singing from the same sheet here.
CMI defines content marketing as: “a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
Wikipedia on the other hand says that content marketing is “any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.”
Aside from Wikipedia’s examples, there really isn’t any substantial difference between the two. Whatever you call it, whatever form it takes, it’s still reigns as “king” and, done right, it can be a very effective, very useful and very profitable approach to marketing.
From a practical standpoint, can an organization build its entire marketing effort solely around content marketing? Perhaps. More likely, it will be part of a larger, broader effort which will include a variety of tactics and media. Cutting across these disciplines, however, are the enveloping arms of consistency and continuity of message. You can’t try to position yourself or to say one thing in your advertising and another thing through your social media. One organization: one voice, one message.
And… one king. And it’s good to be the king.
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