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Content Marketing: The Modern Marketer’s Guide.

Here’s a list of things hotter than content marketing this year:

  • The sun (the great big ball of life-giving fire, not the newspaper).

Thus concludes our list.

Previously we included a graph here comparing against SEO & Search Engine Optimization, whereas it might be fairer to compare to newer forms of marketing, and the ones that are actually growing in popularity (as in the graph below, via Andy Beard).

By way of introduction, who better to turn to than the Content Marketing Institute? Here’s their definition:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

While it sounds simple enough, there seem to be some huge problems around content marketing in modern marketing departments.

– Key Download: The Smart Insights Checklist for Content Marketing Success.

Content marketing skills gap

And it’s not surprising, given that real content marketing involves thinking about communication in a totally new way for many marketers. Sure, there are some who have been value oriented since they started. Many, however, have not – instead their career in marketing has started at a time when handling data and delivering calls to action have been 90% of the workload.

Regular TFM&A Insights contributor Steven Carlisle indicated the source of the content marketing skills gap – where universities teach certain marketing skill sets, others are (or at least until now, have been) ignored. As a seasoned marketing professional, Steven also offers up those continual-learning approaches which set successful content marketers apart.

We’ve also produced our own Content Skills Assessment tool to help you identify where content marketing skills gaps exist within your marketing team.

Content marketing resources

Content Marketing

Content Marketing relies on giving valuable content.

Given this paradigm shift back to focusing on value for the reader, there are some content marketing trends to consider.

At TFM&A 2014, Terry Rzdzynski was on hand to cover a session by @outbrainuk focusing on the way the content marketing phenomenon is developing. Writing his findings from the session up in Content Marketing Plan: 6 tips to help you not suck he outlined key areas to consider, like:

  • Trust is becoming ever more important for consumers,
  • The signal to noise ratio in the channels of communication means its getting harder to be heard,
  • The channels people are communicating through are becoming more and more fragmented.

Content Marketing is a cultural hot potato

Of course, it’s easy for us (and, one would presume, marketing bosses and c-suite mavericks) to assume we can flip a switch and get our marketing teams producing content marketing once the right training is in place.

However, to get the most out of content real, actionable and realistic plans need to be created first. While a lot of this involves planning around resources and lifecycles, there’s another element to consider – ‘humane content‘. The idea being to create an environment which allows content creators to seamlessly integrate with calendars and social plans – without creating maddening, box checking processes which snarl up progress and interrupt the flow.

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