I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately on content marketing, inbound marketing, and/or content strategy. (I say and/or because, to me, these are variations on a theme; opinions vary and I reserve the right to change my mind.)
I’ve come to a few conclusions recently from all this reading (and some doing as well).
I think there’s some confusion about content. You are creating content for a purpose; not just because it’s the new cool thing to do. On this blog, my purpose is 3-fold:
- to sharpen my writing skills by getting back into the habit,
- clarify my thinking,
- and, who knows, start swimming in the content marketing (and pals) thought-leadership ocean.
When I edited a print magazine and produced webinars; the purpose of the content was to provide my readers with information they could use to do their job better/advance their career.
Now that I’m focused on content marketing, the purpose of the content is still to educate, but also to nudge/direct/guide my audience to an action that we want them to take — either buy or download something.
Essential 1: your content has a purpose.*
When it comes to the bare frame of content marketing; there are 2 essential tasks:
Essential 2: Write well (and with purpose)
Essential 3: Distribute appropriately
That’s pretty much it. Of course, there are a ton of devils (and pixies, gremlins, brownies, and I often see Murphy) in the details.
*For those of you who have seen The Jerk, insert your own “special purpose” joke here.