Are you a content marketer or ‘just’ a marketer?

“What is it like—coming from a brand strategy role to be a content marketer?”

“I think, we are marketers, and content is central to all our efforts.”

She is not convinced.

I think a lot of professionals in the domain are not ready to think of themselves as ‘just’ marketers.

I have realized that there’s a huge amount of confusion with respect to the term content marketing.

The most quoted definition on the internet:

According to the Hubspot blog, content marketing is a:

“marketing program that centers on creating, publishing, and distributing content for your target audience — usually online — the goal of which is to attract new customers.” Not drawn from the definition, the Hubspot blog considers it part of inbound marketing, a process to engage incoming customer traffic and lead them to awareness and sales.

Not just a program

The term is made up of two words: content and marketing.

Kotler defines marketing as “the science and art of exploring, creating, and delivering value to satisfy the needs of a target market at a profit.”

Offer value, get customers and make profit—content marketing does all that. Therefore, it is more than just a program. It’s a process; therefore, it is fairly the genus and not species.

The salesforce blog clearly differentiates between marketing and sales; their research proves that content creation is evenly distributed among departments.

There is no reason why these departments won’t shy away from promoting their owned brands and products. So, what difference does content marketing make?

The content marketer knows the answer to the following questions:

What deserves more attention? What are audiences talking about? What is the audience interested in? What are the keywords to pay attention to? What is doing well and how to measure success? All in terms of the product/brand and the coupled content.

Developing metrics, keeping track of what’s working and what’s not, leveraging success, improving results, optimization for better results is all part of the process.

Beyond content

The Hubspot definition of content marketing limits the process to “creating, publishing, and distributing content.” Is that all a content marketer does? No.

How is content marketing more than copywriting for web? A content marketer’s responsibilities takes them beyond the phase of research and development. It’s up to them to develop key metrics for success and align them with actionable goals. They have to understand how the funnel works and where does it lead to. They have to fill the gaps in case of leakage.

Beyond Inbound

There is multiplicity of content on the web. There is more information bombarded on an average human than ever before. Research says that brand exposure per day for an average human has gone over 5000. [Source: Yankelovich and Media Dynamics, Inc.]  An average human can remember roughly 15000 words according to Robert McCrum. That’s 33% of your attention span. We create 2.5 Exabyte of data every day. It would fill 10 million Blu-Ray discs, about 90 years of HD video. Content marketing is also outbound.

All marketing efforts need to assimilate the best of both worlds. Going out there to your customer, armed with apt content: on forums, on communities and through ads, gets immediate results.

Though Sales is the most overbearing objective of content marketing, it should not overshadow other marketing goals. Crisis management, perception audit and positioning are other fundamental marketing goals that often call for outbound tactics.

Therefore, content marketing is a marketing process, of creating, publishing and distributing content to a target audience, creating value and inducing conversions among other objectives.

What definition of content marketing do you agree with?


Posted in Blogging, Editor's Choice, Strategy.

One Comment

  1. Ok I love this. Keep up the great blog. Thank you so much. I like your work on content marketing. Thank you Growth Jacking. Sincerely, Johnny Nguyen. . This is great knowledge. Keep up. I been reading more of your stuff.

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