Content Marketing is all the rage. Everyone is doing it so it must work, right? But we’ve really been doing content marketing for years as part of our overall Marketing Strategy, haven’t we? Why are people trying to make us believe this is something new?

We have operated in a digital universe for long enough to know that online and offline tactics are what is required to truly market any business. Marketing is drawing attention to your brand and raising awareness and Selling is convincing customers to close the deal. These concepts are ancient. It seems to me, though, that every year there is a new spin on the ‘marketing’ concept that is the ‘latest and greatest’ and must be tried by all.

That’s malarkey.

Look, really great marketing strategies are as old as the hills. It’s the tactics that are evolving and before you jump on the bandwagon and think you have to learn about and execute the latest trend, think how it will best serve your customers and bring value to their experience. You’ve been pulled down that road before – email marketing, digital marketing, online marketing, direct marketing, content marketing. They are all MARKETING and if you waste one second executing a new tactic before thinking about what value it brings to your customer, you’ve already lost the race. (Click to Tweet)

Sonia Simone from Copyblogger says this in her article The 10-Step Content Marketing Writing Checklist: “If I was going to boil it down to its absolutely simplest form, I’d say that content marketing is communicating with potential customers in a way that an audience actually enjoys paying attention to, and that demonstrates to that audience that you would be a good person to do business with.”

In my mind, that’s the definition of Marketing – content or otherwise.

Hey, I’m a writer so I’m the last person to tell you not to do content marketing. You might need my help. What I do try to convey to people is that they need a marketing communications strategy which will most certainly include content of some kind (but not everyone needs a blog or a video). Content is only worth reading if people read it. Podcasts only provide value if you listen to them. Your readers and customers will let you know what they want and it’s your job to give information to them in a way that they can enjoyably consume it.

So go ahead and do content marketing but be clear on its purpose as part of your strategy. Blogs, articles, videos, infographics and white papers all have their place in the marketing continuum. So do email, social media, and networking events. Give it some serious thought, set yourself some achievable goals and get to work.

What marketing tactics have you got lined up for the coming year? Shoot me an email and let me know!

Marnie headshot is an SEO copywriter, author and marketer. She works with small and medium-sized businesses to develop their marketing and communications and expand their customer base.

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