22 September 2016

What is content marketing?

Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses

Content marketing is marketing that uses text, images, audio, and video not to stop people in their tracks and advertise to them, like a salesman handing you a flyer while you're walking to the restaurant for dinner, or like a TV commercial that stops your favorite Japanese or Korean drama for 30 seconds to tell you about sanitary pads, the low calorie beer, and the new smartphone. Rather, content marketing is like a friend who passes by, who invites you to read or listen or watch something that you may need--a word of advice, a useful information, a compelling story, a wonderful picture, a moving film. In content marketing, you really need to be like a good friend: you create a reputation of trustworthiness so that the products that you sell that are related to your content cease to become merchandise in your customers’ minds, but a way for you to help them solve their problems--an aching tooth, a financial loss, or a broken heart.

The job of a content marketer is two-fold: create content and market it.

Content is anything that conveys information. Right now, the content at the content marketer arsenal are limited to text, graphics, audio, and video--essentially for the sense of sight and hearing. Those for the senses of touch, smell, and taste are subsumed into these two senses, through metaphors such as smooth as silkfragrant as a rose, or sweet as honey--metaphors which conjure memories of the experiences in the brain, making those memories alive again. The skills needed to do content marketing covers a wide spectrum: writing, graphic design, programming, photography, video editing, podcasting, etc. It is difficult to master all these skills, so some people specialize on a few set of skills, while others specialize in how to bring skills from other people together.

Marketing, on the other hand, is the promotion of content in in flyers, brochures, billboards, blogs, websites, and social media. And, of course, there's the word of mouth marketing--the oldest form of marketing that began when men learned how to speak. In marketing, we try to convince another person about the truth of what we are saying, assuming that we are not trying to deceive. This is called truth in advertising. In marketing, we proclaim a good news that there exists a solution to some of the problems that ails mankind, e.g. illness, hunger, thirst, cold, heat, etc. That is why we propose to the other medicine, food, drink, clothing, shelter, etc. And in exchange, the other gives us what we wish to have: gold for silk, cacao for corn, meat for rice, etc.

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