If you have any interest in marketing or communications, you would find it difficult at the moment to read a blog or magazine on the topic without seeing the phrase 'content marketing' at least three times. I confess I have been working in the field of communications for about twenty years now and can't help feeling that this is something of a buzzword. So, what is content marketing? Well, in essence it is a marketing approach - creating and sharing valuable, relevant and consistent content to a target audience.
I can't help thinking that this is what any PR or internal communications specialist should have always been doing. As a PR, if a client asks us to put together a press release announcing something that is not newsworthy, then we will advise them of that and work with them to develop something that is.
It was interesting to hear this collaborative approach cited by the digital content team at The Times newspaper in a recent Gorkana interview. Their view being that PRs are essential, although no longer for a Press Release but for seeing how best to use a company's data to develop content that is interesting for their audience.
In today's digital world, anyone with a computer or smartphone is inundated with information from more sources - from social networking sites through to email marketing. It is true that there is now technology available to allow individuals to skip adverts, pick and chose content sources, etc. However, developing content that is both enjoyable to read and also adds value should be at the core of any communications activity - for internal and external audiences. In print it will help with word of mouth sharing over the dinner table or at the bus stop. In today's digital world, this content becomes easier to share via social media or forwarding via the email.
'Content is king' is an old expression and it still holds true. Relevant, informative, engaging content that is well written and easy to digest will always be read by the target audience and shared wider.
I'm excited that content marketing appears to be on everyone's agenda. I'm just surprised it has taken a buzzword to make its importance heard!