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Content Marketing 101
By: Amanda Markell
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Lately it seems "content marketing" is heard everywhere a marketer turns. The transition is in the air that interruptive advertising is old news and pulling in the customer with relevant interaction and informational marketing could become the primary strategy for many brands in our industry. So if you’re not yet familiar with content marketing, let’s take a crash course together.
 
So what is content marketing?
 
Copyblogger describes content marketing as “creating and sharing valuable free content to attract and convert prospects into customers, and customers into repeat buyers. The type of content you share is closely related to what you sell; in other words, you’re educating people so that they know, like, and trust you enough to do business with you.

What are some great examples of content marketing?
 
IBM "City One" Simulation Game. This interactive game created by IBM places you, the player, as a CEO managing four consultants covering energy, water, retail, and banking. The goal is to revamp the metro area using technological solutions. To begin the game you must enter your info, qualifying you as an IBM lead. As you play the game, you are entertained but also introduced to IBM products and services.
 
Caterpillar's Online Community. Caterpillar has established an online community where professionals can talk about everything from machine operation to business management to safety practices. This practice provides customers a resource for peer support and gives them a reason to consistently return to the Caterpillar site.
 
General Mills Tablespoon Blog. The Tablespoon blog is a place for users to find new recipes, print coupons, and learn health tips from regular contributing bloggers — all subtly supporting General Mill’s brand foods. For example, here you can learn how to make eggnog cupcakes with Betty Crocker Super Moist Vanilla Cake Mix.
 
Here are some useful content marketing resources:
 
The Content Marketing Institute — online
Copy Blogger — online
Youtility: Why Smart Marketing Is about Help Not Hype  (by Jay Baer) — book
Managing Content Marketing (by Robert Rose) — book
Hubspot Marketing Library — online
 
The content marketing filter is all about serving the customer and providing what they want and find useful. So I will leave you with this inspiring video made by Hubspot.
 
How do you see the growth of content marketing? Tell us @beneaththebrand


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About the Author
Amanda Markell is a marketer in the Greater Boston Area with a passion for branding, new media, and customer insights. 
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