What’s in a name? Why content marketing is more than just a buzzword

Last week Marketing Week featured an article with a heading cleverly designed to the raise the hackles of us content marketers. And no doubt to make us read it.

In ‘Content marketing is a meaningless buzzword that needs to buzz off’ the author highlighted how William Hill’s CEO is thoroughly cheesed off with the phrase that everyone who is anyone in marketing circles is currently using.

It’s not the first time I’ve heard how content marketing is nothing more than a buzzword. Incidentally from the same people who once told me that social media wasn’t an appropriate marketing channel for businesses.

*SmugFace*

A buzzword can be defined as a meaninglessly overused phrase connected with a specialised field that sounds important and is used primarily to impress laypersons. Is content marketing really just another clever word used by us marketers to make ourselves sound smarter than we are?

What is true is that content marketing isn’t something new. In fact in an earlier blog I looked at how back in 1895 John Deere became one of the world’s first content marketing specialists with the creation of a magazine designed to help farmers become better at business (and that’s without even mentioning early cave drawings that demonstrated how to effectively spear a wild boar!). Doesn’t the fact that content marketing has been around for over 100 years and is gaining momentum prove its worth? Content marketing may have been called something different throughout the decades, but its value has never been in doubt.

The real problem with content marketing is not what we call it but that there are still far too many people doing it badly. Content that is created without any idea who it is for and what they might want.

The fundamental rule in creating any piece of content, whether that’s a blog, an infographic, a video etc.  should be to never forget who you are creating it for. To provide content that supports your values and engages those people you want to talk to.




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