Content marketing. Now here is a trending thing. Of course, from the earliest of days, content has been one of the primary areas of focus within the social media space, but it feels as though this thing ‘content marketing’ is now reaching some sort of critical attention mass.
A few years back everyone needed something which could be called a social media strategy – mostly just so they could say they had one. You didn’t really need to understand it, you didn’t really even need to implement it, far less measure the value it created – still don’t one might say – you just needed to have one (preferably with a Twitter account and Facebook page tacked onto it) for when you got asked the question. So it is now with a content marketing strategy. I suspect that few marketing folk will be able to make it through 2014 with their credibility intact, if they are unable to hold aloft a content marketing strategy.
But here is the thing. What exactly is content marketing and what is a content marketing strategy? Also – how does it map against this thing called native advertising (or is native advertising just an ad person’s attempt to try and appropriate a trend which is currently playing more to the strengths of PR and journalistic, rather than advertising, types?) Actually, I think we can answer that last question easily. Native advertising is just an ad person’s attempt to appropriate a trend which naturally plays more to the strengths of PR and journalism, rather than advertising. End of story (and hopefully end of talk of native advertising).
Content: what content?
Of late, I have become a skeptic of the term content, especially this thing called ‘engaging content’. It wasn’t always so. In some of the first presentations I gave on social media some six or seven years ago I can remember my mantra was “get it a link, get it out there and get it working for you” – albeit the intent here was to try and get organisations to understand that content shouldn’t be highly produced and live on websites – it should be very low cost, produced in volume, launched from content hubs and live ‘out there’ in social (Google) space. Conversation, Content and Community were what I preached as being the Holy Trinity of social media. Continue reading