Content Is NOT the Same as Content Marketing


Editor’s observe: Confusion nonetheless exists about how content material and content material advertising and marketing differ. It isn’t about the definition, however the distinction between creating content material and training content material advertising and marketing. This publish is up to date to offer you a greater understanding and to be shared together with your groups and executives. 

An e-book, a webinar, and a white paper are usually not content material advertising and marketing. Ads are usually not content material advertising and marketing. Social media posts are usually not content material advertising and marketing. Marketing with content material is just not the identical factor as content material advertising and marketing.

But what’s the distinction between content material and content material advertising and marketing? The reply is the publisher-like vacation spot and the common frequency of high quality content material that you simply use to draw and construct an viewers. You don’t personal the viewers on social platforms. And one e-book is just not constant sufficient to construct the belief that audiences immediately expect.

One e-book is just not #contentmarketing, says @BrennerMichael. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

Content advertising and marketing is about attracting an viewers to an expertise (or “destination”) that you simply personal, construct, and optimize to realize your advertising and marketing goals.

Content is in every single place. There’s product content material, gross sales content material, customer support content material, occasion content material, employee-generated content material, advertising and marketing and marketing campaign content material. Even promoting is content material.

With content material advertising and marketing you might be attracting an viewers to a brand-owned vacation spot versus interrupting or shopping for an viewers on another person’s platform.

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Think American Express’s Business Trends and Insights:

Or Red Bull’s The Red Bulletin:

Or considered one of my favourite thought management advertising and marketing locations, CMO.com:

These are three nice examples of content material advertising and marketing locations (content material advertising and marketing hubs) which can be owned by manufacturers, look and act like writer websites, and in several methods drive enterprise worth for the manufacturers.

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The downside with content material

I discuss to folks every single day about content material advertising and marketing. And I discover that the idea of getting a content material advertising and marketing vacation spot, owned by the model, to serve as the property for its content material efforts, is misplaced too typically.

Most advertising and marketing groups are targeted on creating content material that helps the model or its merchandise. You create this content material primarily as a result of somebody requested you to. You are not creating the content material as a result of it meets a buyer want. 

The downside with content material is the identical as the downside with campaigns – they’re seen solely to a small piece of your viewers for a brief interval. Up to now, a serious downside with most content material was that it was created for the boss. That is altering. Successful entrepreneurs prioritize the viewers’s wants over promotional messaging as CMI’s 2019 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends research discovered:

The outcomes simply illustrate the advantages of this method. If your content material isn’t created for the viewers you are attempting to succeed in, interact, and convert, it is going to have a negligible shelf life. Stop creating content material to promote. Stop creating content material nobody will ever see.

Stop creating content material – create a content material model.

Stop creating #content material. Create a content material model, says @BrennerMichael. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

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Promise of a content material model

Seth Godin’s proclamation in 2008: “Content marketing is all the marketing that’s left” continues to ring true.

Many folks simply confuse content material with content material advertising and marketing. Content advertising and marketing is a strategic resolution to a strategic downside. To attain, interact, and convert new prospects for your corporation, you have to create content material folks need.

And it’s worthwhile to appeal to them to a content material advertising and marketing vacation spot. According to creator and speaker Andrew Davis, “developing a content brand takes an audience-first approach to business storytelling that builds a loyal audience.”

An audience-first method to enterprise storytelling = a loyal viewers to your #content material model. @DrewDavisHere Click To Tweet

Joe Pulizzi wrote Content Inc., a complete guide to assist manufacturers and entrepreneurs appeal to an viewers BEFORE creating services.

Joe’s work has been an inspiration to me for years. I used the steps Joe recommends on this guide to drive the method I’m utilizing on my firm content material advertising and marketing vacation spot, Marketing Insider Group. I’ve been running a blog as a advertising and marketing insider for over seven years, posting one to 2 instances per week, to construct an viewers of engaged readers. Consequently, I took the step of branching out to supply companies to manufacturers trying to determine the best way to construct an efficient content material advertising and marketing technique.

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The distinction is the vacation spot

OK, you’ve received the message. You’re dedicated to shifting past simply creating higher content material to performing like a writer. But how do you go about constructing an efficient content material advertising and marketing vacation spot? Follow these eight steps: 

1. Determine your content material advertising and marketing mission assertion

It ought to assist your model mission and put your prospects at the heart. Define who your audience is, what matter or matters you assist, and what worth you present to your viewers. 

2. Pick a URL

Consider whether or not your content material advertising and marketing vacation spot must be your organization’s model area (www.yourcompany.com) or on an unbranded website.

For instance, e-commerce options supplier BigCommerce exhibits small retailers the fundamentals in on-line procuring performance, conversion optimization, digital advertising and marketing, and buyer expertise by way of a easy weblog URL on the identical area:

On the different hand, CMO.com is a site impartial of its proprietor, Adobe. 

Three. Determine how branded your website can be

Similar to the earlier level, that is totally different by way of branding. An on-domain content material website ought to include a minimum of some parts of your company model. An excellent instance is HP’s Enterprise Community:

An on-domain #content material website ought to include a minimum of some parts of your company model. @BrennerMichael Click To Tweet

On an off-domain content material website, your artistic path ought to assist no matter matter you need to change into an authority in. Here’s how SAP is doing it with the website I began for them greater than seven years in the past, Digitalist Mag:

four. Think about the elements of an efficient content material advertising and marketing vacation spot

Your website ought to embrace all the elements sometimes included on any writer website such as:

  • Categories throughout the high to indicate what matters you cowl.
  • Articles revealed incessantly with seen authors and publication dates.
  • Visuals to assist the matter and break up the textual content.
  • Strong concentrate on rising your owned viewers by together with calls to subscribe in your updates.
  • Highlights of top-performing content material so readers can simply uncover your finest content material.
  • Calls to motion, a proposal, or contact-us web page for individuals who need to attain you straight.
  • Social-sharing choices so your readers can simply assist promote your finest content material.

5. Create a plan to assist visible content material

Getting all the above finished is tough sufficient. But when you do, you will see that that visible content material is a problem. You don’t have to break the financial institution to include visuals. You can cowl and embed different folks’s visible content material. You can create SlideShare decks for little or no funds. Best, you’ll be able to inform tales with visuals. Data visualization weblog Information is Beautiful tells a narrative with numbers with every of its posts.


You don’t want to interrupt the financial institution to include visuals, says @BrennerMichael. #CMWorld Click To Tweet

6. Build the website to concentrate on subscriptions

I do know I’m repeating this step as a result of it’s necessary. Subscribers are a measure of attain, engagement, and conversion. They characterize the viewers of readers who invite you into their overflowing e mail inbox. Optimize for them. Build your listing. Then construct belief by constantly giving them nice content material that they will discover solely of their inbox. This is a essential step in educating your prospects, particularly in case you’re an expert service supplier or B2B firm.

7. Publish constantly

If you cowl one matter, publish a minimum of as soon as per week. If you cowl two matters, publish a minimum of twice per week. If doable, publish every single day on the classes of content material that can appeal to the proper viewers. Our analysis exhibits that will increase in frequency of high quality content material ship a predictable and in some instances exponential return on funding.

Increases in frequency of high quality #content material ship a predictable & exponential ROI by way of @MKTGInsiders. #analysis Click To Tweet

eight. Define your measurement plan

You don’t want to choose 65 metrics to trace. Just take a look at visitors (guests and web page views), engagement (social shares, feedback, time on website), and conversion (subscribers, contact-form submissions).

By following these steps, you’ll be able to construct a content material advertising and marketing vacation spot to succeed in, interact, and convert new prospects for your corporation.

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Join Michael Brenner as he shares the fundamentals of making, documenting, and implementing a profitable content material technique at Content Marketing World 2019. Register immediately to order your house for the Sept. Three workshop. And stick round for the full convention Sept. Three-6. 

Cover picture by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute




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