Will we end up dropping ‘marketing’ from ‘content marketing platform’?

Con­tent Strat­e­gy feels very dif­fer­ent to mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy. It sits above mar­ket­ing, it’s also busi­ness-wide and not just about con­sumers. Is it time we recon­sid­ered our def­i­n­i­tions of con­tent mar­ket­ing and con­tent strat­e­gy?

Matt Roberts By Matt Roberts from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 1 comment

Con­tent Mar­ket­ing as a mar­ket­ing dis­ci­pline has had a mete­oric rise in adop­tion, and today I heard an inter­est­ing thought, will we one day drop the ‘mar­ket­ing’ from ‘con­tent mar­ket­ing plat­form’?. It’s a genre of soft­ware that Linkdex has an inter­est in.

Recent­ly, I’ve been think­ing about what con­tent means to us as mar­ket­ing pro­fes­sion­als, what it means to con­sumers, and what the word itself means in the hypoth­e­sis pro­posed. So here’s what I think:

  • Con­tent is the very fab­ric of the web.
  • Con­tent is what we write, but also what is writ­ten and pub­lished about us by oth­ers.
  • Con­tent is what we search for, share, link to, and book­mark.
  • Con­tent is what we judge a com­pa­ny by, reward­ing them with mar­ket­ing buzz­words like affin­i­ty, pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment and brand equi­ty.
  • Con­tent is what can be rel­e­vant and use­ful for­ev­er or just sec­onds.
  • Con­tent is what has the pow­er to dig­i­tal­ly trans­form orga­ni­za­tions in a good or bad way.
  • Con­tent is what tells con­sumers a sto­ry, and what says more about a brand than any advert.
  • Con­tent is what con­sumers inter­act with when want­i­ng to engage with you, all the way through the con­sumer jour­ney. That includes whether they are infor­ma­tion seek­ing, list build­ing, eval­u­at­ing, bar­gain hunt­ing or hav­ing post pur­chase needs.
  • Con­tent is what either deliv­ers enor­mous ROIs, or, can just be expen­sive words and pic­tures that nev­er get read.

So what choice do we have other than doing it well? Really well!

If that’s Con­tent, what is ‘mar­ket­ing’ and how does that dif­fer from ‘con­tent strat­e­gy’?

Let’s go for the Wikipedia def­i­n­i­tion of mar­ket­ing first:

Mar­ket­ing is a wide­ly used term to describe the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between a com­pa­ny and the con­sumer audi­ence that aims to increase the val­ue of the com­pa­ny or its mer­chan­dise or, at its sim­plest, rais­es the pro­file of the com­pa­ny and its prod­ucts in the pub­lic mind. The pur­pose of mar­ket­ing is to induce behav­ioral change in the recep­tive audi­ence.”

No sur­pris­es that this def­i­n­i­tion is very con­sumer cen­tric. Putting your cus­tomer at the cen­ter of mar­ket­ing is what we’re taught from the get go.

It there­fore makes sense that Con­tent Mar­ket­ing relates to two con­cepts: consumer jour­neys and moments.

How do you feel about my def­i­n­i­tion of Con­tent Mar­ket­ing?

Con­tent Mar­ket­ing is the process of plan­ning, cre­at­ing, pub­lish­ing, pro­mot­ing and mea­sur­ing the con­tent that allows brands to be present in the moments you’d be expect­ed to be present through­out the con­sumer jour­ney.”

Want to change anything?

It would fol­low that suc­cess for con­tent would be mea­sured in your abil­i­ty to under­stand the con­sumer jour­ney, moments, and your abil­i­ty to be present at those moments. Whether that’s a con­sumer look­ing for an infor­ma­tive resource or want­i­ng the sto­ry that breaks today and is yes­ter­day’s news tomor­row.

In organ­ic search (a huge dri­ver of demand for great con­tent) most cam­paigns would fail this stress test. Most brands don’t map key­words to a con­sumer jour­ney, under­stand the top­ics that need to be cov­ered and the rel­a­tive demand at each stage. It then becomes impos­si­ble to mea­sure suc­cess.

Con­tent strat­e­gy feels very dif­fer­ent. It sits above mar­ket­ing. It’s busi­ness wide and not just about con­sumers. It involves all stake­hold­ers. These will include staff, sup­pli­ers and investors.

Which gives us an addi­tion­al point:

  • Con­tent is also what organ­i­sa­tions con­sume with­in to com­mu­ni­cate to staff, sup­pli­ers and investors.

So for busi­ness­es there’s con­tent strat­e­gy that results in con­tent, some of which will be used by mar­ket­ing.

Back to the question in hand…

Will we end up drop­ping the ‘mar­ket­ing’ out of ‘con­tent mar­ket­ing plat­form’?

I think for soft­ware plat­forms that are designed around, plan, pub­lish, pro­mote and mea­sure con­tent mod­els, we could. How­ev­er, the core use case of these plat­forms is mar­ket­ing. As a mar­keter would I want to buy a ‘con­tent plat­form’ or a ‘con­tent mar­ket­ing plat­form’ if what I want­ed was to get more eye­balls to con­tent that helped me sell more prod­uct?

The space is cur­rent­ly occu­pied by ven­dors like Scrib­ble Live, Per­co­late, and News­cred but it is hot­ting up. SEO plat­forms like Linkdex are play­ing in the same space but are more chan­nel spe­cif­ic, and there’s going to be a lot of new entrants. The need to do con­tent mar­ket­ing well is too busi­ness crit­i­cal, and too valu­able for it not to get even more com­pet­i­tive.

I’m hap­py to watch the space and the evo­lu­tion of cat­e­gories and labels. What I do think is the “Con­tent is …” state­ments I made ear­li­er, will still be true either way, and our job as mar­keters set out in my pro­posed def­i­n­i­tion remains unchanged.

We just need to get bet­ter at doing it.

Matt Roberts

Written by Matt Roberts

Chief Strategy Officer, Linkdex

Matt has worked in marketing for over 20 years with SEO being his focus for nearly a decade. As Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, he is the driving force behind the Linkdex platform. Matt works with clients across the globe to discover opportunities to use data, insights, and processes to grow organic traffic and revenue – and give our clients an unfair advantage. Matt cycles and with a growing collection of road bikes, he is fast becoming a cycling geek.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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