“Content marketing” is all the talk these days among marketers and advertisers. But the more I hear and read about its use by big-name consumer companies like Coca-Cola and P&G, the more I have to wonder, “Where have these guys been? This is exactly what good communicators have been doing for years!”
Consumers don’t want to be interrupted or over-sold, according to content marketers. They want to connect and be engaged. They want information; they want to be touched in more personal and intelligent ways. Well, of course!
Consider this definition of content marketing from the Content Marketing Institute:
Basically, content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistent, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
You won’t get any arguments from me on that one. To this long-time PR professional and business communicator, content marketing has a very familiar ring. It appears that certain marketers have finally discovered the value of telling a story vs. pitching a product. It’s about time!
In writing about Coca-Cola’s new content-oriented website, launched last week, The New York Times noted that the site’s “changes are indicative of the growing interest among marketers in recasting their communications with consumers as storytelling rather than advertising. Just as attention is being paid to developing content to use for brand storytelling, an appetite also exists for corporate storytelling.”
Much has been written about so-called business storytelling and how, particularly with social media, it is imperative for companies to use stories to create a connection between their brand and their customers and fans. It appears that Coca-Cola has made a conscious effort to do just that with this new site that looks more like a digital magazine than a corporate website.
If you haven’t looked at it, I recommend you take a peak. It’s really quite extraordinary.
What I take from all of this is that there is extreme value in what I and my fellow communicators do for a living. It also makes me feel good about keeping up my blog and connecting with readers.
And for my fellow bloggers out there, you should keep it up, too! You’ll note on the Coca-Cola site there are multiple blogs, in addition to a well-executed opinion section. Blogging is alive, and there seems to be renewed interest everywhere in good content.