In the process of my interviews, recently, I talked to a super smart marketer whose candid feedback for me was that she was hoping for a leader who could push them beyond “content” into other channels.
It’s great feedback – always great to know how you come across to others and gave me great fodder for how I talk about content moving forward – but got me thinking. In my mind, “content”…well… it IS marketing these days. Across ALL channels.
Content is NOT just the blog, or that ebook you wrote, or the stuff you post on social networks. It’s the backbone of your messaging, even if the public never sees that part. It’s:
- the stuff of your emails and marketing automation
- the backbone of your campaigns, copy, and audience targeting
- the meat of your influencer outreach, and the content that they create, and everything you build based on what you learn from them
- the spirit and foundation of your advertising, online, offline, or both
- the driving force behind event and field efforts, from what your representatives talk about on stage to how your booth looks and feels to the theme and sessions you schedule for your user conference
- the drumbeat of your SEO, your paid search strategy, and what drives you to constantly optimize that to meet your customers where they are
- the bedrock of your multimedia, from the scripts that underpin the video to the photos you take for your product catalog to the photos you took at the company retreat that make it across Instagram thanks to your employees.
- the catalog of your sales enablement materials, from decks and presentations to those all-important one-pagers that pitch your product to a customer or deliver a value-prop that a prospect can’t ignore
I’d even argue It’s the persona development and customer insights you create from the data you mine and the analytics you use. It’s the groundwork of your product marketing and positioning, from messaging frameworks to battlecards and competitive analysis.
And sure, it’s social (organic and paid), and your owned channels like your website and blog, your placed media and PR opportunities, and your customer journey content (like the educational and informative stuff, or your thought leadership).
Put simply, content is like the air of your marketing. It’s everywhere.
When we started this crazy “content marketing” thing, we thought digital or social. We referred to “content” as “stuff we put on the internet”. But for a modern marketer, it’s so much more than that.
Content is the output of our work, the results of our insights, the product of our efforts to meet our customers out in the market and help them understand why they should move one step closer to working with us. It’s not just the stuff we publish, it’s the evidence of our charter as marketers, to create messages and experiences for our prospects and customers and create brands with distinction, products that stand out, and companies that make a difference in the world.