What the Heck is Content Marketing?
June 16, 2015
If your email box is anything like mine, you’re bombarded by messages about content marketing.
Now, I know what content marketing means, but I’m not always sure that the email messages are defining it the same way. Part of the problem is the terminology. It’s a bit slippery.
Today – or this week, anyway – content marketing, as defined by Wikipedia, “involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.”
Most of those emails you receive are about digital content marketing, which is the biggest thing since sliced, gluten-free bread – again, this week, anyway. And that’s what we’re going to discuss.
I really need specific examples in order to understand sweeping concepts. Content-driven digital media in the ag market includes, but is not limited to:
Basically – and this is vastly oversimplified – banner ads were limiting. While they were good at developing top-of-mind awareness, they didn’t get the engagement clients hoped for.
So the media industry invented content-based placement.
The great news is that content-based tactics are well-liked. In fact:
What this means is that people much prefer content-based tactics to regular advertising, even when they KNOW the content is coming from an advertiser.
This is remarkable. It’s as though your customer were to say, “OK, I know this is an ad but since you dressed it up so nicely, I’m going to pay attention now.”
Consumers don’t just prefer content-driven media – they engage at higher rates.
Paulsen has created many types of content-driven digital media, and these tactics have proven quite effective. Clicks and click-through rates are substantially higher than with standard banner ads.
Of course, there’s an art to crafting these tactics – just as there is with all advertising. It’s about truly understanding the target market and developing compelling messages.
Our ag media partners offer numerous opportunities for content-based media. The most frequently used content-based tactic is native advertising.
Here’s another bit of slippery terminology.
Some people use the term “native advertising” to refer to ALL content-based placement. But this is a misnomer.
Native advertising is paid content that appears much like editorial (see example). It’s always marked as “sponsored” or “partner content” or something similar.
Good native ads not only blend in with their surroundings visually and thematically, but offer unique information that people will want to read. And yes, they will want to read it even when they know it’s sponsored.
You’ll find native advertising in consumer media and increasingly in ag media. AgWeb offers “7 Keys to Building Effective Native Ads”:
Native ads provide a great opportunity for A/B testing. Another idea is to test messages with a pay per click campaign before running the native ads.
While creating high-performing native ads isn’t exactly like driving a sports car at 120 mph on a closed course, it might also be something you don’t want to try at home.
Your marketing partner – especially if it’s Paulsen – understands the medium, the techniques and the possibilities. And of course, we’d be happy to help!