Content marketing is an emerging term for a new approach to marketing that emphasizes using content to explain, engage with, and persuade customers–usually using search and social media as its means of attracting attention. The big idea of content marketing is that it’s no longer enough for your product or service to be valuable–your marketing
To do that, marketers have been forced to become publishers. Rather than the quick sound bites, jingles, and slogans of advertising, digital marketing requires longer forms that really solve problems (or, less commonly, provide real entertainment). There are plenty of examples:
- Johnson & Johnson has a huge Web site on baby care (http://www.babycenter.com/). You know what they use to call this kind of content? Parents Magazine. People paid for it. Now marketers give it away free.
- Scotts, the lawn care folks, offers a free newsletter that is personalized to your own location and grass type. It tells you there are grubs in your area, or a drought, and what you should do about it. You know what they used to call this content? A gardening book. You went to the store and bought it. Now marketers give it a ay.
- Kraft, the food giant, offers a free app called the Kraft iFood Assistant, that lets you walk through the grocery store searching for recipes that take advantage of sales or availability of whatever looks good today. Of course it recommends Kraft Singles when the recipe needs American cheese and you can even get coupons to but Kraft products. You know what this used to be called? A cookbook. Publishers sold them. Now marketers give them away.