Content Marketing is just another ‘buzzword’!

July 14, 2015 - 4 Comments

Buzzwords.  There seems to be a new one every year that people fall over themselves trying to get into conversations.  Companies pounce on the new word, like a tiger capturing its prey, and set-up ‘Tiger Teams’ to determine how they can embrace the changes afoot that the said word will bring about. And, let’s not forget the rush to update LinkedIn profiles with the buzzword because everybody, of course, is now an expert in it!

I often think buzzwords highlight opportunities that have been overlooked and are things we should already be doing.

Content marketing, for me, is one of those buzzwords.  It is after all simply, ‘marketing’. And more crucially it is marketing that both stimulates and engages your customers into a conversation.  Marketing has always featured content.  But what we have all woken up to is the fact that content must be authentic, relevant to your audience and human if it is to stand any chance of being conversational.

It’s reported that the average person spending 2 hours 57 minutes a day on their digital device.   Customers armed with digital devices wield them like machetes in a jungle, cutting through dense growth on journeys to find information about products and services.

A ‘one size fits all’ broadcast approach to marketing doesn’t work anymore. Did it ever truly work?  No, probably not. Past success could partly be attributed to lack of brand competition.  But with more brands today competing for customers’ attention, customers have purchasing muscle – and they’re not afraid to flex it.  It is now important more than ever that your brand stands out and helps customers who want to talk to you. But how?

one size fits all

Marketing is and has always been about storytelling.  Storytelling has existed since the beginning of time and has been used by brands for hundreds of years.  A carefully crafted story that resonates, creates brand attachment and a reason to engage is a sure fire way of building an authentic relationship.

What a customer experiences on their buying journey should not be underestimated and it is our job as marketers to quench their thirst for knowledge and provide them with relevant content.

Content and storytelling is nothing new.  So why the hype around ‘Content Marketing’?   Maybe other buzzwords such as ‘Big Data’ took our attention away from what we are fundamentally here to do……tell stories.

Marketers must re-familiarise themselves with the art of storytelling.  It is the experience you create and the skilful way you tell your story that will retain customer and attract new prospects.


So in summary, instead of focusing on ‘Content Marketing’, let us focus on Marketing and the art of conversation.  Talking and listening to customers with messaging that engages, resonates, ignites passion and creates emotional attachment to your brand.

The next time you hear a new buzzword.  Ask yourself this; what is it highlighting that you have overlooked?

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  1. Well written Jeremy, thanks for the insight

  2. Dear Jeremy,

    I agree that a new buzzword — and even a genuinely new trend — offers an opportunity to look to fundamental principles again and see what has been overlooked. That’s an excellent point.

    And I agree that all marketing efforts would do well to check in on how well they’re doing with storytelling, connection, engagement and authenticity.

    But I think it’s wrong to define content marketing by those characteristics and therefore to erase any difference between it and other marketing tactics and therefore to dismiss it as buzz.

    For many, the defining characteristic of content marketing tactics are usefulness for the target audience, in the absence of a promotional message, for the purposes of growing engagement and ultimately growing the business.

    Meanwhile there are other time-tested marketing tactics that don’t necessarily prioritize utility and that rightfully should have promotional messages. They might have fundamental values like good storytelling in common with content marketing, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any other differentiation.

    -Robert McGuire
    McGuire Editorial & Consulting

  3. Hi Jeremy

    A well written article, as with all good sales & marketing activity we need to weave a story so that we achieve empathy with the customer. The great thing now is that with creativity and the application of technology that message can be refined to apply more directly with the individual enabling marketing to deliver highly qualified “leads” to sales

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