Content Marketing is a Practice


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I read an article yesterday that stated a few things I’d like to counter about content marketing. I disagree with the premise of the article, most specifically these statements and assertions:

One sign that content marketing may be failing is if you first need to market your content.”

This statement is the equivalent of saying, if I publish it, readers will automatically find it. If this is true, then what are marketers doing on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other online communities? Sharing content via social communities is synonomous with marketing that content. The same can be said for sending email to prospects with content offers, and inviting them to webinars. I’d also argue that offering RSS feeds is a form of marketing your content. I could go on, but I think you get the point.

“Where content marketing fails as a marketing model is that content is only one factor in demand generation. Other factors among many include measurement, distribution (reach), industry authority and strategy. If a piece of content is not working, it can’t tell you why. That’s because content marketing is not really marketing, but rather a “philosophy,” as Wikipedia describes it — i.e., ‘an umbrella term encompassing all marketing formats that involve the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases.'”

I completely disagree with this assertion.

Content marketing goes way beyond just content, as this author suggests. Content marketing is definitely marketing. It is a practice and methodology that incorporates:

Strategy: what objectives your content must accomplish and how it will do so.

Distribution: where it will be shared, how it will be shared and with whom, at what frequency.

Measurement: based on defined goals, measurements are assigned and monitored to validate both strategy and distribution choices and pull factors such as industry credibility/authority, referrals and earned media. Additionally, the means of measurement and testing for optimization can indeed serve to tell you why the content is working – or not working.

Personalization: doing the research to develop personas and segment audiences to ensure the most relevant content is developed for, and shared, with the people most interested.

Content: After all of the above are defined and integrated, content is developed to execute the strategy which can include the objectives of lead generation, lead nurturing, sales engagement and customer retention and loyalty.

Content can be developed in a number of formats and distributed in a myriad of ways to meet the needs of a variety of audiences. To say content marketing is not marketing is a misrepresentation. At least when it’s done correctly.

Had the author said Content on its own is not Marketing, I could’ve gotten behind that. But to demean a practice that has proven value to company objectives in favor of another term that I would argue is dependent upon the very principles of content marketing for success is misleading.

Thanks for reading my rant. It’s not my intention to insult the author, as we’re all entitled to our opinions, this is simply a statement of my reaction to a few points made in the article.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee is a B2B Marketing Strategist and the CEO of her firm, Marketing Interactions, Inc. She helps B2B companies with complex sales create and use persona-driven content marketing strategies to turn prospects into buyers and convince customers to stay. Ardath is the author of Digital Relevance: Developing Marketing Content and Strategies that Drive Results and eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale. She's also an in-demand industry speaker.


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