“Content Marketing” is the Buzz-du-Jour among marketers everywhere, both on and offline. But it really isn’t anything new.
Smart marketers have been using these “new” writing techniques and content strategies for decades. Direct marketers, in their long sales letters, are expert at this. The “advertorial” has been around and used on the Internet for more than a decade. Are we just renaming copywriting techniques?
Why the big hullabaloo now? Why are so many experts publishing Content Marketing books? (5 Content Marketing Books You Need to Read) Why all the blog posts and Twitter Tweets … Content Marketing Top Blogs?
…I’ve always had a nose for shifts and major upheavals. Here’s what I think is happening on a big picture level:
Communications have just come out of the Dark Ages. What we are experiencing on the Web is equivalent to Cave Men who’ve just invented the wheel. Think about it for a minute…
First there were hand-written books. There was the printing press…newspapers and printed books, then mail delivery…then telephones.
The advent of easy publication and instant access to information and to people over the Internet is having a much bigger impact than all these inventions combined. It impacts huge numbers of people world-wide (1.5 billion people on the Internet).
Because Web publishing is available to every one for almost free, and it’s global, we are able to get up on our soap boxes and broadcast to anyone interested.
The Opportunity…and the Challenge
The advent of the Internet and Web 2.0 tools make it super easy for non-geeks to publish anything they have to say. But this raises a new challenge to marketers, because readers and listeners have a choice as to what they will pay attention to.
Instead of publishing marketing hype, companies have to start acting like human beings. They have to start listening to their customers. They have to look at the perspectives of their readers and deliver content that’s interesting to them, solves problems for them, and even entertains them too.
This is huge. This is rewriting the rule books for copywriters and marketers everywhere.
If you’re an individual professional in charge of writing your own marketing, you may already be tuned into this. You’re probably writing content that engages your readers on your blog, web pages, and Twitter messages.
Content Marketing Done Right
Or are you? Are you doing it right? How would you know? Since none of us learned this is in school, how do you learn to “do content marketing?” You could rely on instinct. You could buy the few books out on the topic.
The thing is, the field of “content marketing” isn’t a precise science nor is it clearly defined. What works for one niche or industry might not work for yours.
Right now, there are several content marketing experts online who are doing a pretty good job of encouraging professionals and companies to undertake the change from advertising and marketing hype to content marketing approaches.
For the most part, you’re going to have to study this on your own, and find your own path.
Until more is written about this, you may need to ask questions of content marketing specialists.
I am asking you this question:
How will you use content to market your services to the people who have the very problems you solve?