Kevin Goddess discusses the growth of online video and the opportunity for brand's willing to...
State of Content Marketing
As “location, location, location” is real estate’s mantra, “content, content, content” is fast cementing as marketing’s magic maxim. Historically, content has always mattered in marketing. In the 1930s, companies like Procter & Gamble, Pillsbury and General Foods “married their advertising needs with the listening interests of consumers” by sponsoring the popular “content” of radio soap operas.1
Fast-forward to the burgeoning Internet economy of the late ’90s and shouts of “Content is King!” were heard from every rooftop. Whoever coined the term—Sumner Redstone and Internet pioneer Philip Greenspun are among those credited—content is now irresistibly redefining the corporate marketing model across industries.
Speaking at Online Marketing Summit 2010, Federated Media CEO John Battelle connected brand relevancy with “mastering the art of content creation,”2 following his call to marketers at the 2009 Conversational Marketing Summit to rethink “buying media versus making media.”3
“Content” is today’s operative word in marketing, the two finding their own union as “content marketing” or non-interruptive marketing that inspires consumer trust, loyalty and action. Even the custom publishing industry’s leading trade association has taken notice: the NY-based Custom Publishing Council recently changed its name to the Custom Content Council.
In a March 2010 webcast, Bloomberg Businessweek and Coremetrics revealed how trends including effectiveness and optimization are now driving marketing decisions—with a sharp scrutiny of what actually works in marketing.4 It is in this climate that companies are embracing the functional importance of being content creators, publishers and distributors— and fully bringing the consumer voice into the marketing framework.
Context Is Key
Battelle, the acclaimed co-creator of Wired, distills content marketing thus: “Every marketer is a publisher, every publisher is a marketer, and every consumer is both.”5 Or as content marketing evangelist Joe Pulizzi decants, “Customers want to be inspired.”6
The essential first step is to create a strategic blueprint: content without context is a king without a kingdom. Forrester Research’s Mary Beth Kamp notes, “As with the rest of the marketing mix, branded content needs to be consistent with the broader marketing plan and deliver a message to a specific audience.”7