Why you don’t need to know what Content Marketing means

Gutenberg Printing Press

Lets be honest about “Content Marketing”, just for once.

“Content marketing”, was invented so online marketing agencies can sell more stuff.

Yes I realise all my pals or now ex pals in my industry will tell me to STFU. But I have thing little aberration in my brain that sometimes inhibits me from bullshitting. Which is a real handicap at times.

The reason why the term “content marketing” is a bucket full of rotten, frogs is this…..

There is already a term that adequately describes the act, and that is “publishing.” Some of you may be aware of it.

In the first 50 years after Gutenberg first cranked up his printing press (it was no longer Guttenbergs’ by the way as in was in debt to the investor and had to hand all the rights over to the businessman who lent him the money to make the printing press, but that’s a story for another time.) around 12 million books were printed.

Do you think they understood the art of using publishing for marketing purposes using the cutting edge technology of their time.

To me, the term publishing has marketing at its foundation. After all, publishing is simply a collection of communication methods designed to communicate and cause reaction in an engaged consumer.

If you start to peel off the layers of what people are actually doing when they create an infographic, publish it on a blog and promote it using social media, you quickly understand that the fundamentals never change.

All content marketing describes, is a mechanised way of taking advantage of current publishing and promotional tools, it does not get deep into the fundamentals. It simply hasn’t been around long enough, whilst “publishing” as a term has.

This may seem like semantic drivel, but when agencies overuse the term “content marketing” to promote methods using new mechanisms, when the fundamentals are the same, it gets annoying.

My argument is that the client does not need to know the definition of such mechanistic terms as content marketing, that’s for the industry to sweat bricks over.

But the client absolutely has to get what “publishing” is, and the increased speed and power that the technology can now give us.

So I’m not that bothered about using the word, but do you have to use it so much.

And do you really think that a client needs to know such stuff to get it?

Comments

  1. says

    I applaud you Lyndon.

    Almost everything that happens in digital marketing has happened for hundreds of years, the tools for doing it might have changed but the principles have not. Read Claude Hopkins book called Scientific Advertising and you can see the business model for social networking laid out in black and white.

    Now someone writing a book is not the end result, it’s keynote speeches, TV appearances.

    As I’ve tried to maintain, clients are very dumb, overlook the obvious and need people like us to state the obvious and make them look good in the eyes of their bosses, peers, industry. They are smart when they hire us.

  2. says

    Note also that mark-up is rel=author and rel=publisher, not rel=copywriter and rel=marketer

    As you said, the main reason for calling it content marketing is to sell it as a ‘new’ concept.

    If an agency went to a client and said ‘we want to turn you into a publisher’ or even ‘we want to start blogging for you’ that doesn’t sound appealing and would be a hard sell.

  3. Lyndon Antcliff says

    Good points Craig.

    I guess it depends on the client and it depends on the agency.

    But as we know, these terms seem to come and go with the rapidity of Director Generals of the BBC, but the fundamentals stay the same.

  4. says

    the client absolutely has to get what “publishing” is – Couldn’t have put it better myself.

    My bugbear about “SEO is dead” (and I’m sure most of my peers will agree) bears similar resemblance to this in that people who say “SEO is dead” clearly don’t understand what SEO is.

    The point of SEO is to get yourself found by as many people as possible, by whatever means. Just like the printing press means you could get your book read by more people in a shorter space of time….

    Who writes… sorry, PUBLISHES…. content with the intention of no-one reading it?… Oh hang on, if I MARKET my content then more people will see it…

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