Content Marketing is King

By Joe Maglitta, Senior Director, Strategic Content Slashdot Media

Well, it’s finally happened: “Content Marketing” has surpassed “social media” as the “it” strategy for marketers. At least, according to a new study of more than 700 marketers by econsultancy and Adobe.

Digital Trends for 2013” reports that, for the first time, “content marketing” slipped past its sexy sibling “social media engagement” as top priority for in-house marketers (39% vs. 38%). That’s a leap of ten percentage points for the new kid since 2012.



This doesn’t include the closely related marketing tactic “content optimization,” which fell slightly, but seems likely to rise as markers and agencies figure out better ways of leveraging their new and legacy content investments. (Adobe has figured it out. Notice its prominent logo embedded in the charts.)

5.9 million Google Hits and Counting


The Econsultancy/Adobe study would be interesting in itself. Sure, you can quibble about self-interest — 60% of respondents were in the U.K. But, I would note, the sheer number of similar studies suggests there’s definitely something here.

In its latest annual survey, The Content Management Institute (CMI) reported the oft-cited fact that 33% of marketing budgets will go to content marketing in 2013. In a similar study, the Custom Content Council found the spend on branded content per company rose to an average of $1,725,736, from $1,640,107. Google the term “content marketing” and you get 5.9 million hits. On Bing, it’s 3.1 billion. Visit pretty much any site for marketers and you’ll find lots of related chatter. Even LinkedIn has no less 187 groups focused on the topic.

It’s now obvious, content marketing is way beyond fad.

Many Names, One Goal: ROI


As CMI founder Joe Pulizzi notes: Whether you call it “custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism or branded media,” you as a marketer need fluency in this area.

What’s the “it”? Definitions abound, but I like Tim Duncan’s of Studio One:
“Content marketing is any marketing format that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire customers. Content Marketing’s basic premise is to “provide some valuable information or entertainment – “content” – that stops short of a direct sales pitch or call to action, but which seeks to positively influence a customer in some way.” For marketers, I especially like the ideal championed by the Econsultancy/Adobe report: “Great content, spread through social channels and consumed anywhere.”

That’s a pretty good target. I’d top it off with the words of one exec surveyed by Econsultancy: “If done correctly [content marketing] allows for targeted messaging with proven statistical relevance, that has a direct connection to ROI.”

Not If But How and Who


All this raises the obvious question: How do you get there? There is no shortage of “expert” advisors willing to provide magic beans for content marketing. Some are very good, others just jumping the train.

At Slashdot Media we have years of industry experience and best practices we know work. In coming weeks, we’ll explore what works in this exciting new area, along with key relationships to social media, mobile, data analysis, ROI, and much more. We’ll bring you the best industry research and thinking, along with the real-world experience and expertise gleamed from a team that creates successful content marketing programs every day.

Content Marketing has emerged as a key intersection of social media, mobile, an important everywhere entry-point for ad-indifferent buyers. Be there or be left out. It’s your choice.

Click here for a neat infographic of the Econsultancy/Adobe report.

Joe is Senior Director of Strategic Content for Slashdot Media, where he leads the strategy, development and timely delivery of top-quality custom content, marketing services and lead-generation campaigns for the company’s clients.

Maglitta brings a rich wealth of experience, including serving as Editorial Director/Strategic Content and Vice President/Market Experts group at Ziff Davis Enterprise, Executive Vice President/Content at True North Custom Media, Editor/Events at Information Week,  Senior  Editor and Special Projects Editor at Computerworld, and Account Director at Schwartz Communications. His teams have created and executed hundreds of successful strategic campaigns for top vendors including IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Intel, Lenovo, HP, Oracle, Dell, Symantec and scores of others.  

Contact Joe at jmaglitta@slashdotmedia.com

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