The Content Marketing Fallacy.


I Tweeted yesterday that businesses should spend more time product marketing and less time content marketing. And I mean it.

The definition of content marketing from its namesake institute:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

The institute proclaims marketing as usual is dead; as is traditional advertising. We’ve heard that one before. Remember the “inbound marketing” phase? Content marketing is a cottage industry that has spawned tens of thousands of practitioners, with a flashier name for online marketing.

Is it direct marketing? Yes. Event marketing? Yes. Experiential marketing, I hope so. In my mind content marketing is way for agencies to replace revenue lost to Google Ad Words. A way to get Google to pay attention. The logic goes “If Google pays attention, people will too. So let’s post more words and pictures.”

Using a computing metaphor, content marketing is really just “distributed information.” Linking up distributed information the way software companies linked up distributed computers in the 90s and 00s — a volume play — feeds the Google’s algo.

What ever you call this flavor-of-the-day marketing tactic is up to you. What I care about for my clients is they have an organizing principle for product, experience and message, AKA a brand strategy. It will drive your tweets, PR releases, Super Bowl ads, and “About” page. More importantly it will drive sales. And Google will find you, trust me.