Content Marketing Experience Guide: content marketing in context

Content Marketing Experience logoWelcome to the Content Marketing Experience. Once a separate blog by i-SCOOP, Content Marketing Experience is now your integrated guide to customer-centric content marketing.

Content marketing is a marketing technique, covering a broad range of tactics and processes, whereby content is created, optimized and used to serve customers and business goals in all possible areas of marketing, PR, sales (enablement) and more.

Content marketing revolves around experiences: customer experiences, brand experiences, user experiences, etc. Content is the glue and trigger of interaction in a customer-centric marketing view with relevance, consistency and mutual/connected value for audiences and brand at the center. By offering value to pre-defined groups of people content creates value for the customer in the broadest sense, in tune with brand and business objectives, and leading to value for the organization.

Get started with content marketing - the Content Marketing Experience Guide

Value for the customer and/or specific audiences can mean many things: it starts with offering the right information for what people seek to creating and sharing anything that is appealing, useful or just fun. More in this customer-centric content marketing manifesto.

Content – or if you prefer to use related terms such as stories – runs like a thread through a connected and integrated marketing approach. Content is – and always has been – essential across all forms of customer interactions and touchpoints.

What is content marketing? Definitions and scope

There are many definitions regarding content marketing.However, these definitions and the term content marketing as such have become meaningless, even if we will hear it for many years to come, until it has reached the ‘plateau of productivity’ and the term might disappear.

The practices and principles of ‘good’ content marketing are here to stay, regardless of the definitions and even as content marketing – rightfully and obviously – continues to be just part of good, integrated and customer-centric marketing.

WDoug Kessler on the term content marketinge like the no-nonsense way in which content marketing expert Doug Kessler looks at the term, as you can see in the quote.

Instead of “selling” the concept of content marketing and debating about what it exactly means and includes, it’s best to have a no-nonsense approach, looking at the broader context of the use of valuable content in a systematic, relevant, engaging and continuous way.

Content marketing in business and customer context, focused on offering value through great customer experiences, brand experiences, etc. Content that actually helps, makes a brand statement and leads to tangible results across the customer life cycle.

Although content marketing is not just about digital marketing, the digital dimension plays an increasing role.

In recent years and due to the success of the term and the increasing awareness of marketers that relevant content is necessary and undervalued, the term content marketing is used for many purposes and tactics in the digital and social marketing context, ranging from social content and search engine optimization to even online advertising.

Next steps

More content marketing resources and guides

Below are several topics and resources, helping you with content marketing and related topics? Don’t find what you’re looking for? Let us know and we’ll write , create or curate it one way or another. It’s in our mission/promise statement. Just send an email to info[at]i-scoop.be and if we can add it, we will add it, as soon as we possibly can. Also keep coming back to this page now and then to discover additional topics and resources.

A customer-centric content marketing definition

content marketing definedIn the introduction you could read about the definition of content marketing. However, there are many people and resources, all with their definitions. As said, they matter less than the actual outcomes and mutual value you create for your business and customers but we wrote more on the definition of content marketing and added a while list of other definitions here.

Succeeding in content marketing

content marketing successContent marketing success depends on the outcomes you strive for. Usually, they are a mix of mid-term and long-term goals as content marketing is not for the short run (only). However, there is quite some low-hanging fruit, enabling you to get results fast. Some links with success factors:

Defining a content marketing strategy

content marketing strategyContent marketing requires a plan. A strategy. The scope of that plan depends on numerous factors. If you’re a small local retailer in bathroom equiment, you may limit yourself to making sure you can answer the questions of your customers and keep them loyal or make them buy more or have more people buy from you (word-of-mouth indeed). But, then again, maybe that local retailer wants to grow and decides to use content marketing for it, which is perfectly possible (no boring or small businesses). However, you know what we mean: an integrated content marketing approach for an internationally active, mature company, with a complex sales cycle / buying cycle, different go-to-market paths, multiple locations, different languages and multiple goals will typically have a somewhat more “complex” content marketing strategy.

Content marketing ROI: measurement, KPIs and beyond

content marketing roiNot everything can be measured. Not everything can be measured when you start doing content marketing. Not every company has a culture of measurement, let alone a fully implemented marketing ROI program. That’s OK but you will have to define some metrics and KPIs, that can take many different forms, depending on your maturity, context and goals.

Frameworks for smart content marketing programs

content marketing frameworksThere is no “silver bullet” or one-size-fits-all content marketing strategy, plan or framework that applies to every organization. However, it’s certainly true that in each case, common elements exist for successful content marketing programs. Discover seven frameworks that can help you in building a content marketing program, defining a content marketing strategy and – in some cases – use content marketing from an integrated framework and approach perspective.

The art of storytelling

storytellingBesides questions on what content marketing is, how to build a plan and how to measure the outcomes, the “hottest” topic without any doubt is the art (and science) of storytelling. Storytelling is so fundamentally human that it has been “used” forever, by marketers as well. A few reads on storytelling:

Thought leadership: the role of trust, value and content

thought leadershipThought leadership is often cited as one of the key goals of a corporate content marketing plan. Although it’s a relatively intangible concept, thought leadership is not just a matter of creating content, well on the contrary.

Content marketing and inbound marketing: what is what?

content and inboundBehind the idea of inbound marketing is the idea of a changed and connected buyer that needs to be seen from an integrated and customer-centric perspective. This is not just the case in inbound marketing, essentially a term invented by software vendor HubSpot. Many of the same ideas are also at the basis of content marketing, be it with a different angle. In the end, both are part of something much broader: customer-centric and connected marketing in a world where the digital customer (us) has more choice and control than ever before.

Content marketing and media: on owned, earned, paid and shared media

content and mediaThe new media reality, whereby businesses have the ability to be media as well, has led to some new types of media that are increasingly converging. Although in reality definitions such as content marketing, inbound marketing, outbound marketing, social media marketing on one hand and the different types of media overlap and integration is key, it’s interesting to understand these definitions. A healthy mix of these media, that are increasingly converging, is necessary. Different types of media and efforts should strengthen each other’s impact. More recently, a fifth “term” has been introduced: “converged media”.

Content marketing strategy: content formats in the changing buying journey

content formatsAn overview of the changes in the buyer’s journey and different new models to look at it, including how various content formats are connected to different steps and stages in the buyer’s journey and overall customer life time. Mainly visual.

A guide to social content marketing

Social content marketing is the area where content marketing and social media/business meet. It’s also about connecting social business, collaboration and newsroom techniques and principles to content marketing.

Content curation: overview, benefits, goals and tools

content curationOne of the hot topics in content marketing is content curation. It can play a role in achieving various goals, depending on how, where and why you use it. A full overview including some content curation tools and solution providers.

Content marketing software: categorization and tips to select a vendor

An overview of the vast landscape of different types of content marketing sotware and tips to select a vendor.

Creating a content marketing culture: the content management dimension

content managementHigh-level overview of the creation of a content marketing culture from the content management dimension.

Corporate blogging guide and tips

Blogs are often seen as the hubs in digital content marketing, especially within a social context. An introduction to business blogging for marketers.

Getting internal buy-in for a content marketing strategy

You want to do content marketing and have defined a strategy. Now it’s time to get buy-in from the C-suite if you didn’t have it to start with. An overview.

List of the best content marketing blogs

blogs on content marketingOf course, we don’t know everything about content marketing, writing, storytelling etc. That’s why we created a crowd sourced list with literally dozens of blogs (in English) providing more thoughts, views and other resources about content marketing. At your service.

Content marketing experts to watch

Content marketing expertsIn the same crowdsourcing mentality, we also built a list with some content marketing industry experts you might want to watch. We left out ourselves and, unfortunately, it’s only in English so apologies to all those folks doing great content marketing in their countries and languages. Hope you find even more resources this way – in case you would still need them.

Want more?

As mentioned before, feel free to ask us additional resources.

Illustrations: Shutterstock.

Read our primer on content marketing in Dutch.