fb Ready for the Content Marketing Journey? Keep Blue Skies on your Horizon

Ready for the Content Marketing Journey? Keep Blue Skies on your Horizon

November 5, 2014 | digitalexe |

What is Content Marketing?

According to Wikipedia, content marketing ‘is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.’

This catch-all phrase certainly means different things to different marketers, in different companies and in different industries.  As such, a community of content marketers and professionals has evolved to address the ever-changing needs of this business process.

A content marketing strategy occurs when a brand, company, or organization utilizes longer-form content – articles, videos, photos, research findings, among other assets – to capture the attention of potential customers – hopefully leading to engagement, and then eventually, sales. 

While advertising campaigns are designed to generate awareness, the discipline of content marketing involves a dedicated, focused approach that includes any or all of the following aspects:

  • The development of a content marketing team of bloggers, researchers, editors, designers, and developers to create the company’s content
  • A schedule or calendar for content distribution
  • A platform to publish and distribute the content, often the company’s website but also various social media channels and email or automation programs
  • Monitoring and metrics tools to measure audience reception to and engagement with the content


Spreading the Love

Discussions of content marketing generally include social media, but there are many other business functions to which content marketing extends.  As such, one or more individuals from these departments could take a more active role in a company’s content marketing strategy.


  • Sales.  Salespeople and those supporting sales operations need a consistent stream of content to put in front of prospects.   Sales professionals are a perfect group to measure the strength of content assets, as they can give immediate feedback to the marketing team as to what is performing and what is not.
  • Customer service.  As customer care has largely moved online, a customer community, self-service site, or FAQ webpage are all considered content marketing, as customers go online to search for the information they need.  Customer service managers can measure the impact and utilization of such content, and so by extension, their content is content marketing.  (They can also insert some helpful information about the company’s new products as well.)
  • Human resources and administration.  Many companies large and small have realized that their corporate intranet, in which reside dozens of important employee-related policies and documents, need to be more clearly organized and utilized.  Document retrieval and utilization are by extension, content marketing, as HR managers, using the proper tools, can determine which pieces of content are accessed more than others, and give attention where needed.  Indeed, employees can be considered an internal audience.


Automating the Process

With the proliferation of Twitter timelines, blogs, Facebook Pages, YouTube channels, and Pinterest boards, marketers are very well aware of the need to constantly and consistently feed ‘the content beast.’ 

As such, shrewd marketers understand that not all of their content needs to be original.  Indeed, marketers have learned that they can capture the interest of their core audience of buyers and influencers by aligning themselves and the brands they represent with the content of others, a process otherwise known as content curation.

Examples of content curation include retweets – merely passing along a tweet which you find interesting, while still identifying the original author.  Another example of content curation is finding a YouTube video or SlideShare presentation which you consider interesting, and then embedding it on your website or blog, and including your remarks or commentary.  Thanks to embedding technology, this process is legal and ethical, and serves to promote both the content of the original creator as well as your own.

There now exist several content marketing services that include curation tools, that automate this process and introduce efficiency to content marketing efforts.


The Evolution of an Industry

Content marketing is not new.  Some clever marketers have been utilizing content marketing practices for at least a century.  Recipes and cookbooks featuring branded packaged goods – from Betty Crocker to Martha Stewart – serve as longstanding examples of content marketing.  Magazines, eBooks, How-To-Guides, research studies, articles, and even entire courses have served their purpose in performing content marketing for their underlying brands and companies.


ChangeU: For your independent study….

Annual Research: Content Marketing Budgets, Benchmarks and Trends, for both B2B and B2C - http://bit.ly/1uv4tMu

The Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 study of content marketing in both B2B and B2C environments.


Why Your Content Marketing Team Needs A Marketing Technologist - http://cmo.cm/1uv4EaC

A discussion of the technology needs for a full-in content marketing program.


The Social Customer Engagement Index - http://bit.ly/1tZIThy

The results and analysis of a survey of online communities that serve the social customer.


# digitalexe

  • 3 Content Marketing Trends That Will Rule 2018
  • 2015 TechTarget Media Consumption Report: Guided by content – How IT buying teams navigate through the research and purchasing process