I Before P, In Content Marketing

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Kris Winter, Queen of Everything Marketing

Two other marketing experts and I are part of a roadshow “30 Marketing Tips in 60 Minutes” where, in addition to media buying, I also discuss content marketing. I start the content marketing section by explaining that the term “content marketing” is really the “term de jour” for something savvy marketers have been doing since the beginning of, well, marketing time.  (And because we marketers just love to make up names.)

However, today, the focus of content marketing has changed.

Content Marketing – The What

The Content Marketing Institute defines Content Marketing (CM) as

“… a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

The term entered the vernacular sometime in the late 90’s although the concept has been around for a very long time. (See, what’d I tell ya’?)

Again, while marketer’s have always delivered content in the form of newsletters, web sites, published articles, etc., content marketing is now not only taking on new formats, but also a new focus.

But let’s back up a bit.

First, a Little History:  Marketing to Persuade, Inform, Entertain (PIE)

Academics, employing the acronym PIE, suggest that writers have basically three broad categories for taking up the proverbial pen, or these days, the keyboard; either to persuade, inform or entertain. Most marketing has been and continues to be designed to persuade, but information can be as powerful as persuasion, and it has now become the foundation for not only building relationships but for also warming up the sales funnel.

Content Marketing – The “New” How 

The path to your customer today is a process centered on the development of a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Great content marketing has a key role to play in that process and today it is all centered on providing great information (I).   The content provided and the information it conveys can be crucial to cultivating a relationship with your client based upon trust and respect, and those are fairly solid footings on which to do business.

The old content marketing focused strictly on persuading (P) the prospect to buy by talking obsessively about the company, the product, the features, the benefits. It was essentially all about “me, me, me” or “sell, sell, sell.”

Content Marketing is not about “you” anymore.  It’s about the customer.  Their needs. Their wants. Their information.

Today’s successful content markets identify the target market of their business, the type of information that market craves, and then provide it. It is typically a sharing of expertise, or the forwarding of third party expertise that is relevant to the target market. It is not meant to sell the company’s product; it is meant to meet the customer’s needs.

Think of content marketing as healing a pain point for your customer.

We knew an entrepreneur who developed a software program to serve a particular narrow vertical market. His writing never mentioned software, instead it provided information relevant and helpful to establishing a successful business in that market. He shared an expertise they needed, he created value, the essence of kick-butt content marketing

Content Marketing – The Why

Because we all want to do business with people we trust and respect. The providing of expertise without the expectation of something in return is a proven means of establishing both.  Being seen as a trusted advisor is a far better long-term strategy than being seen as a salesman.

Helpful, relevant content shared through both traditional and new channels is the new content marketing; the new trust builder.

So, just remember a little information (I) reduces the need for persuasion (P), in successful CM.

Need some help with delivering your (I) or a content marketing strategy, give us a call at 515.276.6010 or shoot as an email at buzz@m2kmarketing.com.


If you would like to include our marketing roadshow “30 Marketing Tips in 60 Minutes” during your next conference, membership meeting or event, contact Kris at kwinter@m2kmarketing.com