iMC students define content marketing...Mike Hector posts insightful comment.
by Mike Hector, iMC student
For me, the definition of content marketing goes a bit beyond the forensics of the material (blogs, podcasts, videos, images, flash animations, etc)
True, all and more of these items are "content" and distributing them online through digital means (social media, online ads, imbedded URLS in a TV ad, etc) is literally "content marketing." But effective content marketing is more like a game of chess, where your opponent is oft times far better than you. Consumers today have far better to access to information and most importantly one another. And truth be told, consumers themselves can be converted into far greater brand warriors, and sales people than anyone on the company's payroll.
Gone is the advertising stone age where you're super-creative ad-copy states: "Eat at Joe's." and the consumers would...eat at Joe's. Now we have to tell them how Joe is loveable personality, who pours his soul and rich culinary heritage into his work resulting in a dining experience that is second to none. We need to tell Joe's story. Joe needs to be a hero, not just a name above an eatery. And if the story you've generated is good enough, the consumer will re-tell it. (share via social media with their friend populace.)
Anne's connection with storytelling really struck a chord with me. Using each element that makes up the spectrum of "content" marketers must now tell a story about their brand, and captivate their audience in the same way a fiction author's work must do the same with his/her readers.
In essense, you can have all the videos, blogs, sponsored ads, and meme's you want...but if they don't work together in unison it will only add to the clutter or digital white noise and ultimately fail, as the audience rejects, or in many instances likely won't even notice it.
For me, the different elements of "content" are the rich biodiversity within the "ecosystem" that is Content Marketing, working together and telling a story that must me compelling, fresh, and engaging. And much like any real ecosystem, it's a fragile and even dangerous environment if the marketer does or says the wrong thing. Lions & Tigers & Bears...