Content Marketing That Goes Above and Beyond
Marketers cannot stop talking about content marketing. It seems to be one of the hottest topics of the marketing world; and yet, what exactly is it? When I set out to search for the answer to this question, I found more than one differing opinion on the exact definition of content marketing. Many even define it as being equivalent to inbound marketing or social media marketing. After doing some research, however, I can conclude that content marketing is a broader form of marketing that encompasses both inbound and social media marketing. My formal definition is as follows:
Content marketing is the creation and distribution of content that is valuable and relevant to consumers. The three purposes of content marketing include:
- Engaging the customer
- Forming a relationship with the customer
- Guiding the customer toward doing business with your company
It can be used across all channels of distribution, not just online mediums, and can take many forms, such as newsletters or business cases. Furthermore, it can be used to target any and all target audiences at any point in the buying cycle.
If you’re still unclear on what content marketing actually is, take a look at the following examples of stellar content marketing:
Hubspot.com is a wealth of information for marketers looking to learn. Not only does it provide case studies from satisfied consumers, but also it can assess your website’s marketing quality with the push of a button. Hubspot Academy educates marketers with certifications, webinars, customer examples, and the Hubspot blog, while the Marketing Library provides useful tools like eBooks and templates for free.
Equinox doesn’t limit its fitness options to its clubs. Q, its editorial website, provides customers with plenty of ways to improve their health beyond the gym. Articles, videos, interviews, and more cover fitness, nutrition, rehabilitation, and lifestyle topics. And features like “Ask the Experts” facilitate conversations between Equinox and its customers.
IBM’s A Smarter Planet campaign seeks to “change the paradigm from react to anticipate,” or to provide knowledge to consumers and business leaders that will enable them to make smarter and more innovative decisions. The section of IBM’s website dedicated to the campaign has an immense amount of content, but searching by industry or topic makes it easy to explore. Subtopics include articles on forward thinkers, IBM research reports, analytics studies, and interviews with some of IBM’s finest.
Harley Davidson is famous for having a loyal customer fan base, and when you look at their content marketing, it’s easy to see why. Not only do they provide consumers with exciting events, but they also teach them how to ride a motorcycle for free with programs like Motorcycle Boot Camp and H-D Garage Party. Harley Davidson also keeps the conversation going with its extremely popular Community page.
The Insights page on Deloitte’s website is an excellent tool for businesses of all industries. The content seems limitless with case studies, webcasts, presentation, debates, newsletters, podcasts, and a semiannual business journal. And as if that weren’t enough, Deloitte also has an additional online publication called Deloitte University Press, which consists of completely original articles, reports, and periodicals meant to educate business and government leaders.
How do you define content marketing? Can you think of other B2B and B2C content marketing examples? Additionally, if you want to learn more about the different forms of content marketing, check back here regularly as we continue to discuss the subject on Blue Wave Buzz.