Content is to marketing as matter is to physics. How on earth can content marketing be a new concept?
The truth of the matter (pun intended) is that it isn’t. Corporate and marketing communications functions have long engaged the market with high-value, high-interest content, unfettered by overt ties to the product price list or lead-generating registration forms.
What has changed is the nature of b-to-b marketing and its escalating requirements for product and demand content, which has given rise to the “trend” of content marketing. Content marketing is not trendy; it is already deeply embedded in the way that communications functions think and operate. So much so that many communications functions don’t realize they are the logical leaders of the content marketing push, and have ceded this influence to product or demand. Communications professionals, take note.
The spread of the content marketing mindset to product and demand is a healthy indication of a larger shift. Product and solution marketing are learning to talk to their buyers, instead of talking about their products. Demand creation tactics are veering away from the tactical bombardment of push tactics and gaining the new skills required to understand what buyers want and where they go to look for it as they move through the decisionmaking process.
As communications functions within b-to-b organizations become more closely aligned with other marketing functions, they have a great chance to lend expertise, insight, creative energy and passion to the movement toward content marketing. Many communications functions have struggled to regain their strategic relevance within the organization. The rise of, and interest in, content marketing presents a leadership opportunity not to be missed.