“Content marketing” is a buzzword that I have heard several times in my journalism classes, however, I hadn’t the slightest clue as to what content marketing actually was. I am extremely thankful that JMC alum and current employee at Zapier, Danny Schreiber, was able to come speak to our Social Media class on this pertinent topic. I tend to tune out any information that contains the word “marketing” because business talk has a nasty habit of overwhelming my mind yet simultaneously putting it to sleep. But the hype surrounding content marketing had me intrigued. Danny gave us a clear definition that content marketing is “exchanging knowledge for attention with long-term goals to increase customers.” But honestly, at the end of Danny’s presentation I was still a little puzzled by the topic. However, after reviewing my notes, I was able to put content marketing into perspective. I found that I have known about the main concepts of content marketing for quite some time. In fact, I had seen similar components in my favorite subject area: fashion. And so, just as this person was able to relate Star Wars to content marketing, I am able to connect fashion and content marketing to create an introductory overview and how-to for the journalism buzzword.
The 4 Things Fashion Taught Me About Content Marketing
1. Content Marketing Requires Sharing and Exchanging
Just like when my sister purchased the loveliest leather jacket and let me borrow it when I allowed her to wear my leopard print sandals, content markets want to exchange information with their audience. When they produce content or information, they want to obtain emails. This is why blogs and other forms of content often ask for your email or other information before you can view their content. To demonstrate this, Danny asked for our emails before he gave his presentation. You will use the content for your personal brand or business and the content marketers will use your email and information to send you updates about more content or even their product. Similarly, if I fall in love with my sister’s leather jacket and go back to the store to buy one for myself, content marketers are hoping that the emails will entice you to purchase their product.
2. Content Marketing Is an Investment Piece
Just like a classic Chanel handbag is a timeless investment piece that never goes out of style, content marketing will continue to add value and draw attention to a business or product. Content on the web, once published, is always accessible and a post can continue to capture viewer’s attention years after it was posted. The goal of content marketers, is to create content that is will be relevant and useful for a long period of time. Thus, stimulating a long-term investment for the flow of viewers and potential customers.
3. Content Marketing Is All About Promotion
Much like fashion brands and designers try to plaster their name or logo on their creations, content marketers also use self-promotion of their product or business. To do so, their post may causally mention a product or explain how the company’s product relates to the content. For example, if a Zapier blog lists the 10 best CRM apps, they might also mention how their product helps organize and integrate those apps to work together. Another way content marketers like to promote both their content and their products is to share their posts with experts in hopes that those people will share the article, blog, etc. with their followers. In fashion terms, this is like when a designer collaborates with another brand or store (think H&M or Target collaborations) to share their work with a wider audience. For content marketers, any viewer is potential customer or someone who interacts a potential customer. Therefore, any promotion or mention of their product is worth-while.
4. Content Marketers Experiment To See What Works
Just like my trial and error process of creating an outfit, content marketers often test different types of content and promotion to discover what works best for their product or to see what draws the largest audiences. When beginning the content marketing process, it is important to experiment with different content styles and topics to uncover what works best. Much like in fashion, sticking to the same old style can become boring and changing to something that does not fit your personality can also leave a poor impression on your viewer.
I know the connection between content marketing and fashion is quite a stretch. However, spotting the similarities that these two share helped me gain a clearer understanding of content marketing.
P.S. The image at the very top is a part of a collage that I made for a school binder. I thought it was a fun reference to my interests (: