What is content marketing?

At w00tonomy we don’t half bang on about this “content marketing” stuff. So what exactly is it?

Content marketing was born out the changes and experiences of the online industry over the past few years. Its core principle is that people will engage with your organisation if you provide them with content that delivers them value, be it monetary benefit, entertainment or targeted information. And according to Seth Godin it is the only marketing left

Of course, content marketing has been around for years but was not clearly differentiated because the marketing channels were interruptive and one-way. The internet, particularly web 2.0, has caused the paradigm shift. It is the customer who now selects the nature and time of engagement not the distributor. This has changed the marketing dynamics – it is the relevance of your content and the relationship that it establishes that determines your ability communicate with your customer

From our experience we have developed seven principles for content marketing:

  • Think and act like a publisher: If you are online then you are a publisher and an editor. This means you have to plan a content strategy and schedule. You have to know your readers and their interests.
  • Be marketing-led: Your content planing and strategy must driven by the business objectives, market research and audience profiling.
  • Online marketing: SEM and usability are an integral part of your Content Marketing strategy. They improve the audience experience and support the development of customer focussed content.
  • Understand the value proposition: Your content must deliver value either through entertainment or financially or information or all three. When developing your content clearly understand where the value lies.
  • Audience focused: Content should be targeted at your audience segments.
  • Measure and evolve: Content marketing does not end with a site going live. There is a continuous process of measurement and adapting content in line with marketing objectives.
  • And finally: You live or die by the quality of your content. No matter what business you are in you are in the content business.

4 Responses

  1. Is there a collective noun for a trio with such digital content expertise? There should be. Look forward to seeing the rapid growth of W00tonomy.

  2. Picked up an interesting comment from a meeting with Qi Lu (EVP at Yahoo). Currently the ratios they see are 1 content developer (original content):10 people who review and enhance the content or comment on it:100 general consumers. Yahoo are thinking the ratio will get to 100:100:100.

    In that world everyone will need to think of their skills in content marketing, not just the pro’s !


  3. David,

    Very very interesting idea about future of that ratio.

    And you’re absolutely right. We’re already in a world where everyone online is a publisher, whether they know it or not.

  4. I think the other big thing is allowing your customers to contribute to the content, adding value and then giving competitive edge. The trick is to gain critical mass so that your site is the leader in that field. Many sites now give away free facilities to encourage people to look at their content. “something for free” is a more powerful draw than the 7 principles above 🙂

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