You can’t turn around today and not hear the words “content marketing.” You would have thought that someone had discovered the holy grail! Content marketing isn’t anything new, it’s just called something else. There can be arguments for both I suppose, but I feel the primary role of content marketing is to position yourself to have an advantage and sell something!
Why do people do business with you? It probably has something to do with your having something they find useful and need. It also probably has something to do with them finding you helpful, informative and an all-around good guy. They can count on you for troubleshooting or advice on best practices. Now I haven’t mentioned the term content marketing, but don’t you think that’s what you’ve been doing all along? Now they call it something different.
Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and known as the Godfather of Content Marketing, describes it “as a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the objective of driving profitable actions.”
Content Marketing should be helping you in some way to move a prospect down a sales funnel. I’m not saying they need to be hard selling but you need to able to satisfy a need of a prospect in order for them to take the next step. Always answer the question – WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? If a prospect can’t easily answer that question, there will be no next steps.
Chris Brogan in a recent guest post on Copyblogger, Why content marketing is not branding, highlights why the end game in any content marketing efforts have to be helping someone make a decision of some kind. He goes on to say that marketing and sales are not evil and that content marketing, if done correctly, will give the advantage in the long run.
What do you think content marketing is and how are you using it?