This great question is being asked by the 2008 MIMA Summit, a midwest conference on interactive marketing.
I say, "All content is marketing."
The more you can educate readers, entertain them, engage them and strive to make their lives richer, the better they will feel about your products, your services, and your company.
It works because of what Professor Robert Cialdini and many other scientists describe as the reciprocity trigger. We are hardwired in our brains to feel disposed to give back when we receive something.
Long before the concept of money evolved, our ancestors traded, bartered and exchanged goods, services and food. These habits of giving and receiving laid down neural networks in our brains — they created automatic responses in our psyche.
As soon as someone does something for us or gives us valuable
information that can make our lives easier, we feel a desire to
reciprocate. In fact, we hold those good deeds in our memories, just
waiting for an opportunity to give back.
The Law of Reciprocity
How does the "law of reciprocity" work with regards to content marketing? Basically, you are rendering a service to your readers anytime you educate, entertain, and engage them.
Especially when you strive to give them information that will make their lives easier, faster, and more meaningful – you are perceived as providing value to them. With information or content, this works particularly well when there is no fee.
All businesses have an opportunity to do this with their communications. In fact, if they provided more valuable information and less marketing hyperbole, they would be more effective in winning the hearts and trust of their customers.
But there is a point where a business needs to ask for something in return, for example, a purchase. This is where many businesses fail to convert, often because they haven’t provided enough content to ensure trust and the reciprocity trigger.
It is far easier for content marketing to work on a personal basis, where there is one person communicating to readers/customers than a faceless company with no personality, because of the trust factors.
All content is marketing.
Only I’m not talking about marketing as most people think of it. Most people think of marketing as sales talk. Buy this, buy now, etc. True marketing does the job of creating trust long before there is a call to action.
All content is marketing. What do you think, agree, disagree? Hit the comment link and share your thoughts and how you apply this to your business…
P.S. If you are a coach or consultant looking for content on leadership and organizational development, then you will be interested in our new site, www.ContentforCoachesandConsultants.com.
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