Content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
But here's the deal:
Content should always serve the customer's interests, not stimulate their interest. If you're serving the customer, you're building a relationship. No need for bait and switch. No need to continuously push your product or service. If they need it and you've invested in a honest, engaging relationship with them, they'll come to you.
Agencies push this approach without understanding the intricacies of developing useful, customer-centric custom content. Advertising and marketing agencies are not experts in finance, so developing real, useful content for a financial firm is inefficient and expensive. Yes, content calendars should line up with marketing initiatives, but content development should be left to the experts.
Content isn't an approach, it's the brand. Period. What a brand lives and breathes and says isn't a tactic or a campaign, it is the essence of the brand. Which leads us to...
Marketing as we know it died. Seriously. The Internet killed traditional marketing yet agencies have refused to adapt. The Internet empowered consumers. It gave consumers a voice. It gave consumers the tools to research, to talk to one another, to demand ethical practices and to fair prices. But the most important thing the Internet did was give consumers a seat at the table. Marketing is no longer about talking at customers, it's about conversing with them. Advertising is the old approach. Content is the new conversation.
Custom, curated content is important to building a brand. But the intention for creating it needs to be the benefit of the consumer, not the brand.
Businesses exist to address consumer needs, not the other way around.
Let's get back to serving our customers by providing useful content that helps them pursue their happiness. Only then will they turn to us when we're needed and help us pursue ours.