People love to ask. And we love to answer.
There’s one simple question that lights up our eyes, ignites our brain, and gets us smiling: what is content marketing? We get asked by friends, family members, strangers on the internet, and even clients sometimes: what do you do? TBH, it’s one of our favourite questions to answer because not only is content marketing fun, interesting, and meaningful – it’s something most people engage with daily, without even realizing it.
Here’s the definition we 💗: Content marketing is the creation and distribution of relevant, compelling content on a consistent basis to a target audience to see some profitable action.
What does that really mean? Creating content that educates, inspires, and entertains from an altruistic perspective — thinking about what’s in it for the user, not what’s it in for you.
That means we strategize content, create content, and figure out how to share that content with the right audience. And there is no one “right” kind of content — content makes up all the stuff: the media, deliverables, and the assets that fill out your digital ecosystem.
In this YouTube/TikTok age, content wins the day. Content creators are more and more the norm, the expectation even. Consumers of all kinds are looking to brands (including individual brands) to make purchases that line up with their values. Check out a few of our favs that never fail to impress! Brands without content fall flat.
All the creation and distribution of content takes many forms. A few stalwarts of the content marketing world are:
- Social media posts on strategic platforms
- Blogs that freely share your expertise
- Email campaigns sent to targeted and broad audiences
- eBooks drawing out a clear message
- Websites built for engagement
- Lead magnets with real value
- Online courses designed for impact
- eLearning systems nimble enough for any learner
On their own, each of these is awesome. On their own, they are great content marketing tools! But (there’s always a but!) when used strategically, and in combination, they are amazing avenues of awareness that let your specific audience like, know, and trust you. That trust — truly the currency of the internet— is the foundation of profitable action.
We think in terms of “profitable action”. Now, if those words feel a *touch* vague, they (kind of) are. Profitable action depends entirely on what matters to you — however you define meaningful engagement from your target audience.
For charities, that might be increased donations but could also be a well trained volunteer base or a consistent social media following. An organization that’s scaling fast will be after shorter sales cycles, nuanced email campaigns, or eBooks that strategically disseminate their expertise. A growing venture might be seeking a clear visual and written brand, a content creation engine, and cohesive lead magnets.
That’s the thing! The content marketing that you need could be anything, but most likely, it’s something.
Why We Love It (And We Do!)
What we love most is that content marketing isn’t about trying to convert people via quick, aggressive sales. The cold-call, buy-or-die mentality is, well, bye-bye! Instead, content marketing is all about storytelling, building a unique brand, and sharing all your awesome offerings with the world (or at least the part of the world you are invested in!). Each day, we get to tell those stories, build and implement those strategies, and share them.
What’s not to love?
Kristy Guthrie is the Founder and Principal Strategist of Bright Light Content where she uses her flair for strategy, and for life, to bring out the best in brands and people.