Various people have tried to come up with the best definition of content marketing. It's no surprise, as content marketing is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Businesses large and small realise that they in order to grow online, they need quality content.
Here at ContentPlus, we see content marketing as a way of creating and sharing high-quality content in order to promote ideas, engage a target audience and encourage people to take action (more on that in our infographic).
While other people will inevitably come up with different definitions, it is obvious that it is about content that achieves marketing objectives. So what makes content marketing different to, say, social media marketing?
Content marketing, social media and blurred lines
Mackenzie Fogelson of Colorado-based Mack Web Solutions believes making a distinction between the two is probably unnecessary. Writing for SEOMoz this week, she explained that in her view content marketing is all about getting people to pay attention to your website content, while social media marketing is about getting them to engage with you on Twitter, Facebook and so on.
However, lines between the two blur naturally, with valuable content being the golden thread that connects them. "The label matters less than having a deliberate and intentional strategy to provide something of value on an ongoing basis," she wrote.
Ms Fogelson noted that content marketing and social media ultimately work together to build a brand personality and ethos that people know and trust, as well as sustainable relationships, a supportive online community, domain authority and good rankings in search.
Value and content marketing
So how can small businesses social media efforts and content marketing align to offer value? Google is clear about its approach: it wants websites to give users the most relevant, interesting content. This means (among other factors):
* updating your site regularly with fresh information
* offering visitors a range of content types (from blogs and news articles to infographics and video content)
* making sure the content you post can be shared via social media, and
* adjusting your content strategy based on analytics.
Read more about how content marketing can help your business in these related posts:
Content marketing: how hard can it be?
How content marketing adds value through the buying cycle
Google-proof your business with content marketing
Using an editorial calendar to capitalise on seasonal trends