E-marketing Strategy: The Rise and Meaning of Content Marketing
Content marketing is the hot new term in the world of marketing. As it is when anything new and potentially revolutionary comes along, confusion and fear about this new 12-headed beast are running rampant. I've heard some bewildering arguments against content marketing that were based on little more than fear and "yeah, well, my second cousin the web geek told me xyz" reactionary belligerence.
One rumor going around is that content marketing is a daring new marketing strategy wherein you give away everything you create for free and cross your fingers hoping for pity sales from your audience. I've also heard that content marketing is an exhausting strategy wherein a company must blog, video and Tweet about every single thing that happens every day. And, finally, I've read that in order for content marketing to be effective, companies must hire an army of expensive web geeks, IT nerds, blogging "divas" and social media "gurus"—and that therefore, it isn't worth it.
None of this is true. Content marketing is effective, proven and scalable according to your company's resources. Here is the best academic answer I can muster:
Content Marketing describes any marketing strategy wherein some form of content—a book, an article, a video, a story, a cartoon, an interview, etc.—is created and shared publicly in order to engage the interest of a willing audience. The foundational idea supporting content marketing is that the free sharing of valuable content with an interested and targeted audience will result in the content's creator being rewarded with word-of-mouth promotion, loyalty and sales from that audience.
Interruption vs. Discovery
Traditional advertising employs the interruption mode of marketing. Interruption marketing is based on the idea that an advertisement must pull a person away from what it is he or she is currently doing in order to make a pitch—and that the most effective advertisements are the ones that can most successfully derail a person from his or her intended path. Television advertisements interrupt your favorite shows, radio advertisements bark at you between your favorite songs, newspapers strategically place ads for furniture amid your daily report on the state of the world, and magazines double their own weight by stuffing their pages full of pretty products on pretty people. Even Google's deceptively clean-looking search results pages are designed to pull you away from what you're looking for, and onto the web sites of the advertisers.