van Schouwen Associates

This is Content Marketing

Posted by Patrick Rathbun

Do you know what content marketing is? The good news is that you’re probably already doing it. It is the buzzword nowadays, but it’s been around for a long time. With more venues and formats (digital and social) available to us though, it has taken on a different meaning and new life.

A great deal of uncertainty exists over content marketing’s precise definition, but most would agree it is self-published content continually shared on various platforms for specific goals and audiences.  Marketers are, more and more, cross-marketing content through a variety of social and digital channels and formats, which is great, but we should also be asking purposeful questions about why and how to share it.

As marketers, we should always be mindful of our targets and objectives. What is our mission? What is our desired outcome? Who is our core audience? When is the best time to reach them? This type of brainstorming helps us understand how to customize content for each platform and realize our intentions. By using the analytics available to us, we can accomplish more with our content creation and dissemination. Marketers can better understand our targets’ problems as well as our clients’ solutions (their strengths and weaknesses and their place in the market).

In this technological age, marketers are creators and publishers. Generating content is a large part of marketing. We write, we post, we tweet, we share. Without a reliance on traditional means of getting our messages out, marketers are equipped and empowered to spread messages across channels and purposes. The more things we do, generally speaking, the more attractive we are to Google. The more marketers generate content, the more reasons Google has to turn up our site in its search results. The more attractive we are to Google, the more attractive we are to the wide world.

But there is more to content marketing than creating and promulgating original content. Marketers shouldn’t see themselves as typists or as the only speakers in the room. We can’t compete with Yahoo or CNN in volume, but we can create quality, well-planned and versatile content to realize our goals. Marketers are responsible for creating quality content and using technology in a savvy way. We should also repurpose our content and make it as prevalent and as searchable as possible using as many tools as we can to get the results we’re after. This is content marketing. It’s not generating content for the sake of generating content. Knowing your strengths, maximizing your marketability, picking your spots: this is content marketing.