Content marketing and how it is uber important but not really a unique idea that the Internet invented.
Face it. In a way content marketing is a fancy way of “selling the sizzle and not the steak.” This is a “traditional” (hate that word) way direct marketers used to write copy for their print ads. Instead of selling the product, you sell the concept. Content marketing is taking this small direct marketing copywriting axiom and exploding it across all marketing channels.
Think about this. If you read about marketing, (which I sadly am addicted to) you hear things like “we need thought leadership…blah blah blah.” Why you might ask? Because then the world will view you like an expert and trust whom they are buying from. Makes sense to me. The best salespeople are the ones that knoq their product inside and out. Anyway, the funny thing about “thought leadership” is that it is a concept. Instead of selling the software, you’re selling the educational information that comes a thundering out of your blog. You’re giving information away to do all those wonderful SEO and Inbound things, but you’re building the concept.
Of course. You see countless examples of this on the Internet, we just call them different things like my favorite “utility marketing.” This wonderful catch phrase is usually used when a company is creating a thing, a tchotchke (if you will), in order to achieve a marketing goal. Some tchotchkes (oh I will) we’ve grown to love and adore like apps. Companies are now starting to create smart phone apps in order to connect their people to their brands. If the companies are smart those apps they are building somehow connect to a concept, if not around another product at the very least the brand.
Check out how Skull Candy using utility marketing to offer users a FREE iPhone app for surfers so they know “where to rip.” The answer to the “what was the concept” can be found in the brand story (or at least the one they are attempting to tell) on what kind of persona uses Skull Candy (and yes, probably to the market they are trying to reach out to).
So come on content marketing…it’s clever, it’s the thing to do, it’s what works. If you think about it in those regards, there really isn’t anything shockingly new being offered by today’s content marketing. We’re just ignoring the steak and attaching a rocket booster to the sizzle.