Magazine article CRM Magazine

Getting a Peek Inside Content Marketing: Content Marketing Is Merging with Traditional Marketing, but It Calls for a Different Approach

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Getting a Peek Inside Content Marketing: Content Marketing Is Merging with Traditional Marketing, but It Calls for a Different Approach

Article excerpt

Modern marketers--and all business professionals, for that matter--are expected to offer customers value that extends beyond just discounts on products and services. To build relationships that can lead to additional sales, it helps to earn customers' close attention by providing them with meaningful and relevant content, argues author Theresa Cramer in her new book, Inside Content Marketing. Associate Editor Oren Smilansky recently caught up with Cramer, who outlined some of the elements that define a successful content marketing strategy.

CRM: In 2016, how pronounced is the distinction between content marketing and traditional marketing?

Theresa Cramer: The two are coming together. Traditional marketing, advertising, and commercials are starting to look more like content marketing, because they know people are tuning them out. Take what we know about Super Bowl commercials, for instance. For years, you could watch one of these commercials and if they didn't throw the logo on there, you wouldn't know what they were about. I mean, what does a dog and a Clydesdale have to do with Budweiser beer? Absolutely nothing, but it's entertaining, and it's cute, and we watch it because it's not just about selling beer. That's been going on for a long time, but content marketing takes that to a new level.

What's the biggest mistake made with content marketing?

[Lacking] a coherent, documented strategy. In content marketing, the bar is low. Nobody's coming to your company blog just because you started it. You need to have social media marketing that goes along with it, or reach out to the traditional publishers in your space. If you're in the B2B area, that's especially easy to do with some more branded-content-type things, because they have an audience you don't necessarily have.

You argue that writers are important to the endeavor. Should companies hire journalists internally, or outsource this sort of work?

It depends on your needs. If you have a big marketing department and you're trying to start your own little content wing, then yes, hire a writer. What you don't want to do is hire another marketer because they don't necessarily know how to tell a story. But not everybody has the budget for that, which is why agencies have been hiring journalists to do this sort of thing. …

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