Published on 31 May 2013
There is a new buzz word in town: Content Marketing. The idea itself has been around for many years but recently this phrase is on everyone's lips. If we search for it in Google Trends, it is clear that in the last months it has really gained in popularity.
Firstly, let's explain what Content Marketing is…
There is no need to create a new definition; the concept is widely discussed across the Internet and has been defined as follows:
"Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action" - Content Marketing Institute
"The discipline of using various types of content to build buyers' trust and generate new business" - Quora
"Content marketing isn't just about attracting customers. It's about attracting and appealing to anyone who might influence a potential customers" - Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz
"Content marketing is creating and sharing valuable, relevant content with prospects for the purpose of turning them into customers and regular buyers." - Zemanta
As mentioned earlier, the idea of Content Marketing is hardly breaking news. Still, search queries for the phrase "Content Marketing" have more than doubled over the last two years. So, why the sudden rise of popularity? And why are companies suddenly rushing to adapt it to their distribution processes?
With tools such as Marketing Automation, marketers can create more content and publish it more frequently and usually at a lower cost than they can get done manually. Marketing Automation is a great way to facilitate the processes of generating, nurturing, scoring leads and driving sales. However, there is also a dark side to it. When used recklessly, Marketing Automation leads businesses to communicate using methods that drive customers crazy.
Customers today are overwhelmed with the amount of content that can be found in social streams and in search engine results. What makes your content truly unique and attractive is its quality. Companies realize the importance of quality. According to a study by the Lenskold Group, the main reason for dissatisfaction with marketing automation by its users is the lack of actual content.
The name "Marketing Automation" may be misleading. Ultimately, it is not only about automating the process of distribution but to also provide content. More importantly, the key to good Marketing Automation is not to provide just any content but it is also about providing content that is relevant and engaging, directed to the right audience, and delivered through targeted channels. Without all this, Marketing Automation becomes nothing more than a spamming tool.
Most interestingly, those who really seem to acknowledge this are the ones selling Marketing Automation solutions like Marketo, HubSpot, Pardot or Eloquoa. To meet the demands of their customers, they offer platforms that allow companies to manage email integration and publish web content, not forgetting about the quality of it. One of the reasons why we are currently experiencing growth of Marketing Automation software is the adoption of content as a marketing tool. For example, this can be seen in the recent activities of Marketo whereby they integrated with Curata - the Content Curation Marketing Platform - and KnowledgeVision - the online presentation platform.
So, let's not forget about one last thing. As much as Marketing Automation does not work efficiently without the right content, similarly, Content Marketing will not bring you satisfactory results without Marketing Automation. Everyday experience brings new examples of businesses succumbing to the temptation of Marketing Automation without the right content to support it. The results are easily identifiable and often even detrimental to the brand image.
The glory days when quality sold on its own merit are long gone. Businesses with even the best content are constantly looking for ways to present it for the world to see and appreciate - and smartly implemented Marketing Automation may often be the answer.