Marketing Pilgrim's "Inbound Marketing" Channel

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Is Content Marketing Better Than Advertising?

The social media marketing movement has the marketing world reconsidering everything and that’s a good thing. While progress is usually a good thing, it can create some friction that didn’t exist previously thus giving marketers fits.

One area where that has truly taken hold is content marketing. The idea alone is not new but the development of the discipline is. As a result, many marketers are recognizing the importance of content marketing as a whole. In fact, Econsultancy and Adobe’s first Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing (NOTE: No money to MP if purchased) points that out.

More valuable than advertising? Part of that equation comes from the fact that content marketing generates earned media opportunities which carry a lower cost and more targeting than traditional advertising. Notice there is no mention of free. If anyone uses the term free and social media in the same sentence they should be abducted a flogged by the Internet Marketing Secret Service (it exists for real you know).

The trouble comes in actually doing it. The execution and application of a real and effective content marketing strategy is much easier to discuss and plan than it is to carry out in the marketplace. The response to the following questions bears this out.

So what are marketers to do if there is such great value in content marketing but they are not getting right?

Study it – We far too often act like we know something by throwing around buzz words etc. When it comes to getting down to it, though, our cocktail party level of knowledge prevents us from really moving forward. Study the competition, learn about the discipline then keep learning. A life long learning mindset is essential for success here.

Experiment with it – No two industries or businesses will do content marketing the same way for myriad reasons. If you don’t have the time or courage to experiment (and to fall flat on your face) then don’t bother.

Stick with it – I bet there are more blogs, articles and other varied pieces of content that are left on the cutting room floor due to frustration. Content marketing is a marathon and bailing after the not feeling great at Mile One won’t win in the end.

Beat it – Content marketing is a war of attrition really. You have to outlast the troubles it causes and get past them. Until you get over this hump you are not likely to see much success

What skills and attributes must successful content marketers possess?

Courage – You will be mocked for your ideas and some of your creations. Get a thick skin or get out.

Persistence – To beat anything you have to hang in there. Why should this be any different?

Confidence – You have to allow others who may end up being better than you create and do their thing. If you think you need to do this flying solo you will crash.

Ballsiness – I know it’s not a real word but content marketing has to be brash to stand out in a very noisy and busy world. If you are the kind that can only color between the lines then you may want to concentrate elsewhere.

Vision – If you create just to create without truly beginning with the end in mind you will never get to where you want to go.

Isn’t that interesting? Success in content marketing requires no other special skills than what is required to succeed in many situations in business and in life. So stop reading and start creating.

In fact, if you are looking for a place to test your content marketing chops contact us via e-mail at, editor AT marketingpilgrim DOT com. Maybe you could create for our great audience of Internet marketers? You never know…..