Recently I´ve been invited to be part of an interesting initiative started by Carlos Molina and Cristina Aced, two passionate communications professionals and bloggers.
The initiative, called PR Carnival (in Spanish “#CarnavalRRPP”), is intended to promote the debate around corporate communication and public relations.
A “carnival” is a regular event that takes place online and where several bloggers share their thoughts on a specific topic.
First #CarnavalRRPP debuts with an interesting topic: what is content marketing? We talk so much about content marketing that at some point one gets to wonder: what exactly is content marketing? Is it marketing? Is it PR? What is it?
Before everything, let´s start with a history lesson:
According to Wikipedia: “Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. This information can be presented in a variety of formats, including news, video, white papers, e-books, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, question and answer articles, photos, etc.
Content marketing is focused not on selling, but on simply communicating with customers and prospects. The idea is to inspire business and loyalty from buyers by delivering “consistent, ongoing valuable information”.”
If we stick with the same source, we find out that content marketing existed since 1895, when John Deere launched the first custom publication – The Furrow (still exists today) and continued to be used throughout modern history (see the video below on the history of content marketing).
So, content marketing was not invented with the advent of social media, but it definetly got a new meaning with it.
For me, content marketing is the present and the future of communications. With content marketing, public relations become more visible, the public can now understand what PR really does, besides sending press releases!!!
I think that, for the first time in the history, this is PR´s turn to shine and to demonstrate its power and importance in businesses and society.
Simply put, content marketing is “the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling” – Content Marketing Institute.
Every company and brand wants its share of market; in order to succeed they have to cut through the clutter and be better than anyone else. Easier said than done, though.
Not necessarily easy, but there is a way, and that way is through content marketing: being helpful to your public.
Want to get your audience attention? Listen to them, find out what they want from you and from the market, give them advice and relevant, valuable information. Instead of pitching your products or services, deliver information that makes your audience more intelligent, deliver information that changes your consumer behavior. If done well, you will have in return your consumer´s loyalty.
Have patience! Yes, it´s a long run and its success depends on how good you are at storytelling, on how much you really care about your consumer and on how you handle the relationship. But the result is definitely worth it. Good content marketing attracts and retains customers.
Brands have to integrate content marketing in their overall communication strategy. It has to make sense, you have to mean it, show you care, if you want to succeed. P&G, Microsoft or Cisco Systems are examples of companies using successful content marketing strategy.
In the end content marketing is about your audience, about what´s important to them, it is not about you!
For 2014, experts like Jayson DeMers or Gini Dietrich say, content marketing will be a must for any winning brand and mobile content marketing strategies will make the difference.
What do you think?