I’ve seen several posts out there declaring that content marketing is dead. Beyond dead. On the brink of extinction. Going the way of the dinosaur. Once a quick and cunning Velociraptor, now just a pile of dusty old bones that people living in the past like to dig up from time to time.
But is content marketing really dead?
Content marketing has been around for a long time – only it’s usually just called plain old “marketing.” But think about it: How much of this applies to marketing efforts before the Internet age?
- Telling stories that engage and resonate with your audience
- Providing relevant, useful information
- Answering questions before they are asked
- Providing education about your products, services and industry
- Helping customers make informed decisions
- Building trust and a relationship with your audience
- Creating things that your audience not only likes, but wants to share with others
Pretty much all of it, right? Content marketing isn’t new – we just have new tools, technology, and spaces where brands can reach customers, where customers want to engage with brands, and where quality content can foster that connection.
Content marketing isn’t dead – it’s evolving, just like all our other forms of marketing. The Velociraptor is becoming a bird of prey, right before our eyes.
However, you still need two key things to make it successful.
Content marketing needs a solid strategy. You can’t just create some content marketing call it content strategy any more than you can just make an ad and call it advertising strategy, or just create a Facebook page and call it social strategy. Like any form of marketing, content marketing needs goals and a solid plan behind it to make it work.
Content marketing needs quality content. Sure, content marketing is becoming something of a buzzword, and lots of companies might claim to provide it, but you can’t rely on just any content and expect results. Successful content is good content. Great content. Content that your audience appreciates and values. And the number of Facebook likes isn’t always a measure of great content. That Buzzfeed article with the catchy title that claims it will blow your mind? Probably not going to really benefit your brand, even if it does get passed around the Internet.
Marketing – content marketing included – isn’t dead, isn’t extinct, and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It is evolving, though. Are you keeping up with it?
Teri Guill is a marketing professional with a career background from traditional and digital marketing to content and community management. She is currently a digital analyst with Hilton Worldwide, part of an eCommerce team managing web and business analytics for 3,500+ hotels. She is also the 2013-2014 Promotions Chair for SMC Dallas, managing day-to-day social media presence for the organization. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.