TL;DR: “Content marketing” should focus less on content creation and more on meaningful connections made possible by valuable content
We —those in the business of marketing on the web— have a constant obsession with newness, with defining today’s zeitgeist, with being current and relevant, etc. One of the new terms that’s being abused these days is “Content Marketing”. A concept that seems old if looked closely. Brands need to do much more than just blast their messages left and right, they need to create content to engage their customers. But since when is this new? Brands always had that duty, and good ones delivered on it by creating their own content (commercials, radio plugs, print ads, etc) or by supporting 3rd party content.
Branded entertainment is a significant departure from previous brand marketing strategy […] The rise of branded entertainment is enabling brands to shift from being mere sponsors to creators. We’re all used to seeing brands sponsoring entertainment as a means to get their logo and messaging in front of consumer eyeballs […], now brands are becoming destination sites and platforms for entertainment, in and of themselves.
Yes, brands need to entertain but that’s nothing new. The term “Content Marketing” places all the focus on content. Brands have always created content. What some have neglected is creating a lasting connection with the consumer. When these were created they were in an offline mode, meaning the messages where sent out and the customer could never participate. Because connections had that offline, non-realtime quality they were emotional connections, the ones with the highest chances to stick. We should bring that back.
The web has made one-to-one connections possible. Because of this the true focus of “content marketing” should be the creation of content that the consumers can (and want to) engage with, thus creating those connections. The Brand’s challenge is creating content that can rise above competition and that can be valuable enough to create a lasting relationship with its audience.
If I could I would rename “Content Marketing” to “Meaningful Marketing”.