As someone who spent 15 years as a newspaper journalist, I’ve always believed in the adage “content is king”.
When blogging appeared on the scene, it was only a digital reaffirmation about the importance of content and how the barriers to create it for a global and local audience had disappeared.
As social media services such as Facebook and Twitter emerged, blogs were shuffled to the sidelines because they weren’t as sexy or easy. Almost overnight, everyone was obsessed with updates and tweets that could be spit out in seconds without much thought.
But that didn’t dissuade my belief that content is king. Nor did it convince me blogs weren’t an important part of the social and digital ecosystem. For a while, it seemed like a Don Quixote quest to not only wave the blog flag but continue to write a blog.
So it seems like poetic justice to see content marketing become one of the hottest digital and social media trends. Increasingly, people are talking about content such as blogs, videos, whitepapers, case studies, Webinars and podcasts as the fuel brands need so they can consistently engage with consumers.
Otherwise known as content marketing, there is a growing belief that one of the ways to drive relationships with consumers, and keep them part of your ecosystem is by delivering relevant and value-added content that engages, entertains and educates.
The value of content is something I’ve advocated as social media became all the rage. In some respects, social media services are simply delivery channels for content. The value of having subscribers, followers and “Likes” is they create an audience that can consume the content a brand is creating to achieve their goals – be it sales, lead, customer service, brand awareness, etc.
For all the talk about engagement, conversations and outreach, social media is a multi-faceted pipeline that lets content flow to people who are willing and interested in connecting with a brand, provided there is something in it for them.
This isn’t to suggest content delivery is the major reason to use social media but I believe brands that can deliver content via social media have a huge opportunity to differentiate themselves at a time when most brands are using Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Given the value of content, a conference I should have attended was Content Marketing World in Cleveland because it featured people talking about all the things I fundamentally believe about content.
The upside is Content Marketing World gave me lots of food for thought, including the belief the meshmarketing conference (which I co-organize and which happens on Nov. 15 in Toronto) should include content marketing.
As a result, we’ve got two sessions focused on content marketing. IdeaPaint’s Marcus Wilson and Marcus Sheridan (aka The Sales Lion) will be doing a conversation in the morning, while Marcus Sheridan is doing a workshop in the afternoon.
While meshmarketing has lots of great speakers and sessions, the most interesting me are obviously content marketing due the growing importance of content and how it has thrust itself back into the spotlight.