It is interesting to learn that we cannot have a finite definition for content. Lee Oden gathered 40+ ideas for the word through interviews. The whole list of answers absorbed me; they are diverse, by the way, and as one of them described – content is ‘defined differently based on your background’. Which brings me to a conclusion that not all content can help digital or online businesses.
We have to understand first what type of content to use for content marketing. Content marketing, as we all know, is that method of utilizing content to advocate a brand, convert potential customers, and take care of the current customers. If I were to choose among those 40+ definitions for content in Mr. Oden’s list, I would go with this definition — ‘information presented to the web’ that is ‘engaging’, ‘provides value’, and ‘timely’ that ‘creates brand advocacy, leads potential customers down the conversion path, or nurtures leads and current customers’.
I stumbled upon another interesting blog post in my earnest search for the difference between blog posts and content. Although Ms. Carol Tice admitted in her blog post that blog posts and articles are starting to merge into one causing confusion among clients and writers themselves, what is considered content for content marketing now are the blog posts that are ‘built around SEO keywords’. Articles, however, can also be considered content because of the interviews and research from credible experts and research firms which are vital components of content.
Publications in print are also content especially if they intend to promote a business, or spread the word about a product, inform the public about benefits or advantages of a product or service, etc. The question is – when did the phrase content marketing evolve?
Joe Pulizzi provides an infographic that tells of the brief history of content marketing and it showed that it was Penton Custom Media in 2001 that started to use the phrase content marketing. Years after and until now, business owners and content marketers use the phrase to define information that targets an audience which may come in any form. Blog posts and articles are just one of those formats. Information in texts, images, video, sound, etc. are all medium of content used for content marketing purposes.
So, we do not need to burden ourselves with what content to use because there are many. It is how we use them for content marketing that matters. Actually, content and content marketing have been there for ages. It is proven that a business’ way of conveying a story that is relevant and offers something to the audience is what matters.