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What is Content Marketing really?

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Is content simply Pt1

Content marketing is talked about widely, and is an integral part of most marketing plans. But what I found surprising was how much disagreement there was about what actually ‘counts’ as content marketing. Is it social posts? Is it anything in video, blog or podcast form?

So, I opened up the debate with some of the smartest minds at Tonic. Some of the initial comments I received were along the lines of ‘isn’t everything “content”’ and ‘I’m not sure if anyone actually knows’, but after some debate we came to some consensus:

Marcus Body, Head of Brand & Insight: “Stuff that’s driven by the audience’s interests rather than the transmitter’s objectives.”

Stephanie Smith, Head of Social: “It's audience-first, rather than business-first. It’s joining a conversation already being had by their target audience.”

Lucy Adela-Smith, Creative Director: “It enables, for me, a brand to give much more of an honest view of their offering.”

What we all seemed to agree on was that content marketing is the provision of useful, informative information, that puts the audience’s interest first. And what isn’t it? Content marketing isn’t focused on driving short-term clicks. It’s in it for the long haul.

As a trained journalist, I see content marketing as the perfect blend between journalism and marketing. It tells stories, starts conversations, gives information and tries to be authentic and not biased. Even if that means sharing the bad along with the good.

And in employer brand, telling authentic stories is all the more important. While consumer marketing asks someone to commit for a short time, up to the point of sale, recruitment marketing asks for a day-in, day-out commitment. The more real the information given up front, the more likely that individual continues their commitment, and becomes a valuable part of their team.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your perspectives on what constitutes content marketing, and the place content marketing has in employer brand activity. Feel free to comment.

Now, ‘what is content marketing?’ is only the start of the conversation. For my next blog I’ll be looking at the strategy behind content. The ethos ‘content is king’ has now led to too much content, too much noise – so how do you cut through that and spend your marketing £££s on the right content? Watch this space.

Ruth Faulkner – November ’19


We’ll be exploring Content further in our event series beginning after Christmas. If you’d like to be a part of the discussion. Click here and tell us which events you’re interested in. There’s a quick form to fill in, then the rest is on us.

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About Author

Ruth Faulkner
Ruth Faulkner

Head of Content

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