Wikipedia defines content marketing as “any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers.” The Content Marketing Institute says it’s “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.”
Both of these definitions (and nearly all of the other definitions I’ve come across) have this at their core: someone creates and distributes some sort of media in order to convey a particular message to customers. Such media includes websites, postcards, tweets, podcasts, videos, and magazines (such as the custom and branded publications that Mamu Media produces).
Keep in mind, though, that although content marketing can include self promotion (“We at Company X do the best job!”), a call to action (“Hire Company X!”), or both (“If you want the best service, call Company X today!”), the best content marketing isn’t just an ad. Sure, you engage in content marketing to advertise your organization’s product or service, but people pay more attention to content marketing (and don’t dismiss it as easily as they dismiss overt advertisements) because it interests them and offers them value.
Consider the content marketing efforts of Patagonia, the renowned outdoor clothing supplier. The company’s platform of environmental and social responsibility appeals to many of its customers, and in recent years Patagonia has produced several videos on those themes. (For example, take a look at the category of “environmental” films on the company’s YouTube page.) None of these films are advertisements for Patagonia products; rather, these videos are promoted to customers and prospective customers who share the company’s interest in environmental and social issues and, the company hopes, are therefore also interested in the clothing and gear that Patagonia makes and sells. These videos have been tremendously effective at spreading and strengthening Patagonia’s brand identity—and increasing the company’s sales.
In this era of constant exposure to media, people are inundated with messaging. It’s become increasingly difficult for companies to reach their audiences—partly because so many messages are being broadcast simultaneously, and partly because people are getting better at tuning out stuff that doesn’t interest them. So if you can identify a medium and a message that gets the attention of your audience and resonates with it, you can market to people who not only are good targets for your product or service but are actually eager to hear what you have to say.
Mamu Media specializes in helping companies engage in content marketing with their clients and prospective clients. We know that content marketing is a crowded field (if you google “content marketing” right now you’ll end up with about 17 million hits!), and we know how hard it is to attract attention in today’s media marketplace. Based on our broad industry experience and on extensive research on marketing and messaging, we’ve determined that print magazines are one of the most effective (and most cost-effective) messaging media out there. So if you want to explore content marketing and get the most return on your investment, contact us and see what we can do for you!