"If you asked 50 digital marketing professionals to finish this statement, Content Marketing is... you might get as many different definitions."
Okay, first and foremost. Marketers can be incredibly stupid. And one great example is how we create new names for old stuff. Content marketing is one great example - because marketing, specifically promotions, was always about delivering the right message and offer (content) to the right person at the right time via the right channel in order to motivate the right response or action.
Somewhere, a writer came up with "content marketing" so I can bill more hours and now marketing departments are supposed to be publishing departments in media companies. And that's crap.
Okay, putting that aside - read this article, take out the jargon, and tell me what I described above is different from this:Content marketing is the planned creation, promotion and optimization of brand stories designed to create useful and meaningful experiences that attract, engage and inspire a target group of customers from awareness to purchase to advocacy.
Okay, let's not argue over semantics. The real question is how are you creating useful, meaningful experiences that attract, engage, inspire a target group of customers from awareness to advocacy?
How do you measure the impact of your content marketing efforts? How do you know that Content A is designed for Persona C at the Awareness Stage of the Buying Process? And that Content C is for Persona A at the Purchase Stage?
Because if you can report those metrics, you can't identify what works and what doesn't so you can make moifications and improve.
So how will you make all this happen in 2014? That requires some planning, some research, and a process for monitoring performance so you know what can stay as is and what needs to be modified. You need to know your Personas so you can plan the content appropriately rather than trying to make one size fit all. And you need a process for getting feedback so you know why somethings work and others don't.