I was at a family cookout last summer talking to a group of my relatives, when someone asked me about my job as a content marketer. I began to explain it as I normally would to other marketing-savvy people, but noticed about half of those I was talking to were looking at me with faces that looked a lot like this:
My grandmother said, “So, you’re like an online journalist?” Since she wasn’t completely wrong, and it was a battle I didn’t feel like fighting with half a mouth full of cheeseburger, I nodded, smiled, and said “that can be a small part of it.” Thankfully, that was enough of an explanation for the time and place, and the conversation moved along to the next topic pretty quickly.
However, this conversation opened my eyes and told me that there are plenty of people out there that simply don’t know what content marketing is. And surprisingly, this lack of knowledge can exist within some very successful organizations and even their marketing teams.
With all this mind, the question comes to mind: What is content marketing? To provide the answer(s) you need, I’ve identified 10 videos from reputable sources that all take a unique approach to providing an overview.
Before we dive into the weeds of content marketing, it’s important to understand its early beginnings. In this video, the Content Marketing Institute presents a comprehensive timeline of historical events that have brought content marketing to where it is today.
The video explains that from 1895 (the launch of John Deere’s customer magazine “The Furrow“) all the way up until today, content has always been about “the power of story.”
Now, let’s get into some definitions.
Defining Content Marketing
Copyblogger is a go-to resource for many individuals within the content realm. In this video, they describe content as “creating and sharing valuable, free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers.”
The narrator of the video then goes on to explain how various popular brands leverage content marketing to support their products.
Amy Schmittauer is the founder of “Savvy Sexy Social,” an online show with nearly 3 million views. Her show airs three days a week, with a focus towards helping businesses improve their brand authority. In this episode, she dives into the topic of content marketing. She describes content marketing as a vehicle to share content online or offline to attract or retain clients.
What I like about this video is her emphasis on the fact that content marketing is a two-word phrase. She explains that a content strategy shouldn’t just stop at producing the content. Rather, a content strategy should offer value in two ways:
- A content strategy should offer value to the customer based on their needs.
- It should also be valuable enough that the customer is excited to take action (share the content, request a demo, etc.), benefiting your brand.
The video title says it all here. Anne Murphy, senior managing editor at Kapost narrates a humorous, yet very informative video all about content marketing. The definition of content marketing that she provides in this video is as follows:
“The process of creating, publishing, and distributing valuable information that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience.” Following the definition, Murphy goes on to quickly cover content marketing’s benefits and the types of content that can be leveraged by those looking to implement a strategy.
As the videos up until this point have explained, content marketing can be a valuable tool for all businesses, large and small. In this video, Keith Hernandez of BuzzFeed is interviewed to provide an answer to the “What is content marketing?” question, while also offering up a number of best practices around creating content.
Keith describes emotion, information, aspiration and identity as the four key pillars to a successful content strategy. This is an excellent video to take a look at if you’re a small business owner or marketer wanting to learn more about content marketing.
Now that we have a good understanding of how content marketing is being defined by industry experts, I wanted to share this video as I believe it provides a wonderful overview of the various types of content that fall into the content marketing bucket.
In this video, Marketo provides more than 25 different types of collateral that can or should be considered by marketers across industries.
Content Marketing Challenges and Benefits
CEO of Skyword Tom Gerace opens this video with a brief description of content marketing before moving into the challenges that can be faced along the way. Some of the challenges he outlines include creating content at scale, creating quality content, and promoting the content effectively across search and social media.
To conclude the video, Gerace offers a seven-step approach to kick-start a content strategy. This is a valuable video to watch if you are new to the content scene and want to know the challenges to expect upon launching a program.
Ann Handley is one of the most influential members of the content marketing industry. In this OpenView Partners video, she walks the viewer through some of the primary benefits of content marketing, especially for small and B2B businesses.
Handley describes content marketing as a way for B2B brands to show their more human side. As a result, customers are able to see the brand in a different light and they will most likely be more willing to make a connection with the brand as a result.
What the Future Holds
While we are about halfway through 2016, there’s still time for the content marketing industry to evolve. In this video, Contently has put together a list of five factors they believe will shape content in 2016 and beyond, including:
- More people will take content marketing jobs
- Media budgets will flood into content marketing
- People will begin to question traditional “content strategy”
- Marketing won’t be the only department investing in content
- Content marketing technology will boom
Watch this video to get more detail about each expectation.
When discussing the future of content, Brenner expects to see the maturity of the “brand newsroom” with brands adding experienced editors and journalists to their staff. Projecting out further, Brenner believes brands will start to leverage resources like television actors to create funny and compelling content.
It’s hard to provide a single answer to those asking “What is content marketing?” However, we hope this collection of expert videos has helped you better understand or has equipped you with the information you need to spread the word.
How do you define content marketing and where do you think it’s headed? Get the conversation started by dropping a line in the comments section or connecting with me on Twitter!