Thursday, February 23, 2012

Content Marketing – So What’s New?

I am amused by how many marketing experts there are on LinkedIn; especially when it comes to the new world of digital marketing. Their latest “buzz du jour” – content marketing.

Read On:
According to the LinkedIn experts, content marketing is all about the creation and sharing of relevant information to potential or existing customers throughout the various media platforms. In addition, marketers now have the opportunity to engage via the collaborative tools of Web 2.0 with their targeted audiences. Candidly, for me, content marketing has been around for years. Classically trained marketers call it Messaging 101.

Bottomline: Messaging 101 is essential for effective communication. I recommend all future content marketers read a business classic, Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by the Heath brothers. They emphasized three key Messaging 101 elements:

· Simplicity Rocks – Keep your message short. Your potential or existing customers are on sensory overload thanks to all the different forms of media they encounter day to day. Respect their time.

· Sound Bites – Concise language evokes a positive image. Remember Dunkin' Donuts classic Fred the Baker? “Time to make the donuts!” Fresh was the message.

· Emotional Chords – People love stories, stories build credibility. Thanks to Web 2.0 everyone has become a critic or a blogger, thus are sharing their stories. People also like babies, pets, etc. Did you notice how many Super Bowl ads incorporated babies or dogs this year?

Do you rock? Are you delivering simple content that strikes an emotional chord?


  1. All I can say is .......EXACTLY! : )

  2. Right on, Jimmy. You know my position in this discussion. Most do a lousy job of deciding what is relevant. And then they take too long to relay it. You're preaching to the choir, son.

  3. Jimmy,

    You forgot to review the new practice of curating content and placing it on new social media sites(Pinterest)as the way of providing meaningful(?) content.

    Since we are dropping to new lows, pictures of dogs and babies on Pinterest will meet the criteria of simplicity and emotion, and take the place of any words or thought.

  4. Actually the latest "buzz du jour" is "inbound marketing with closed-loop analytics."

    However, as few understand that content-based marketing is simply, marketing focused on telling your story, few understand what comprises inbound and closed loop.

    To become an expert in this brave new world requires a traplike memory, diligent study, nerves of steel, steady persistence in working with the C-Suite to make the case for what marketing actually is any more, and UN-level diplomacy and team-building skills in order to work across functions to build your CRM and inbound web/marketing stats tracking integration, Flexibility and buy-in development towards adopting new software and tools for monitoring. Be able to crank out copy and editorial calendars and work any manner of personalities to get the content generated.

    Sound like a lot? Add to that depth and rigor in old-school marketing - purchase and place, pay per click, etc. - so as to be able to craft integrated strategy that the C Suite understands, and to be able to explain to them why the old ways don't work any more.

  5. An excellent thread of comments. Thank you everyone.

  6. Jim,
    As I noted in my blog post via LinkedIn (where we 'met'), it’s for good reason this is the "buzz du jour". With so much information at the buffet, we need some help figuring out what to select. To pick an ‘object’ and add ‘beauty’ and meaning to it, we need curation from sources we trust. If we do a good job of culling from different sources – creating ‘objects of beauty’ -- people will follow us.

    Curation is a gift we offer to our constituents. With so much content available to us (e.g., on Facebook the average user – and there are 800 million of them -- creates 90 pieces of content each month -- a content curator selects what’s important and serves it up in a digestible manner.

    As to this being "Messaging 101", perhaps. Yet not everyone in the field studied before entering the field. By shining a light on "content marketing strategy" we're forcing more folks to think strategically about their content. This is a good thing!

    Thanks for the thoughtful post.