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Content Marketing Can Be Serious, Too
By: Mike Bush
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(Please note: This post is not meant to be political in any way. It’s true whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Green Party, Tea Party, or any other party).

Mashable highlighted five content marketing lessons that can be learned from the President, and the list... well... the list basically highlights five different ways that Obama uses a technique we flacks probably refer to as a Distraction. Or, if we’re being politically correct (pun somewhat intended), we refer to it as a viral branding campaign. It’s something to make people talk.

That said, the Mashable post misses two other forms of content marketing that the President’s communications team excels at:

Contributed Articles
As Flacks, we’ve inevitably discussed the value of having our clients submit content to publications. Whether it’s to build brand, generate thought leadership, or take a stand on an issue in a vertical market, contributed materials can very effective PR tools, and very effective content marketing.

(I have to assume it’s fairly easy to get a piece by the President placed in a publication).

Here’s an example of content marketing that the President’s team put together for the Military publications.

The Lesson: Contributed materials, a staple of the PR industry are an important piece of the Content Marketing Puzzle

Social Engagement
Whether you’re behind the President’s plan on health care or not, you probably have to tip your hat to the team that created his web page. The page on his site related to his health care plan reads like an infographic, but along the way, each and every section has a social link that encourages social interaction.  

Another example of the President’s social engagement via content marketing comes in the way the First Lady is willing to answer questions that are asked via Twitter. Here’s an example.

The Lesson: You don’t need to be the only one generating content. You can rely on your fans (or, as it were, constituency) to build content for you to use.

Viral campaigns like the ones highlighted on Mashable certainly have their place in the marketing tool kit. Virtually every marketing study on the subject shows a direct, positive impact on a call-to-action (Vote for me) marketing campaign that simultaneously has a general branding campaign running (like the viral campaigns described in the post).

But whether you’re in-house, at an agency, or freelancing, don’t forget that content marketing comes in many shapes and sizes, and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be funny to be effective.


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About the Author
Mike Bush is a PR and Marketing freelancer with more than a dozen years of experience in the field. Find him on and connect Twitter @mikebush or at www.mikebush.nyc. 
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