What is Content?

Content isn’t a new concept.  When people ask “What is content exactly?” my immediate response is that it is a buzzword.  Which isn’t really fair because as a concept it is perfectly reasonable, but the idea of “content” has been thrown around so much that I’m afraid it has lost some of its meaning.

Content is exactly what it sounds like – information that is expressed through various mediums whether it is a blog, an infographic or a video.  Content is the story that you’re trying to tell and at Concentric Content Marketing, we believe that content marketing is storytelling for the digital age.

So if content is simply information, why the broad term of “content”?  Well as technology evolves we’re seeing more and more ways to communicate information.  Lets say an organization wants to tell you about their new product.  They could use a blog post, an email, a podcast, a radio ad, a photo or video that could be distributed via social media, TV ads, or even a text message.

When it comes to information, there is an ever-evolving list of ways to communicate to others.  Content is a word that can cover most distribution channels and mediums for delivering a message.  The important thing is to make sure your content is targeted and delivered through the right channel to reach your ideal audience.  When done properly, content marketing can be a powerful tool.  Here are some of our favorite examples of high quality content:

Blog

Restaurant.com blogThe Dish, Restaurant.com’s blog is a great example of how an organization can generate engaging content that goes above and beyond for their clients.  Restaurant.com provides deals and discounts on  restaurants, they don’t need to write blog posts about dining trends and tips, but because they do, they are connecting with their audience on another platform, which has been shown to positively impact buying decisions.

Lab42 infographic
Courtesy Lab42

Infographics

Lab42 is one of my favorite examples of content marketing.  They’re a Chicago based startup that does market research.  The data they gather is fascinating and can be extraordinarily helpful for businesses, but what sets them apart is how they deliver the data.  They use infographics to present interesting information in a way that is appealing and encourages sharing.  Their infographics have caught on like wildfire and have been shared across the internet include NPR, Mashable, and Forbes.  They’re a perfect example of how the way that you deliver your content can be the difference between engagement and being dumped.

Photos

Charity water contentAs more image-focused social media outlets emerge, more people are beginning to understand the impact an image can have.  One group in particular stands out for me as an example of an organization that understands the impact of photos.  Charity: Water is a non-profit with a simple goal – bring clean & safe drinking water to people in developing nations.  But this young non-profit (only 7 years old) has grabbed the attention of the nation through their storytelling ability.  They use videos, statistics and most importantly, photos to communicate their story.  Charity: Water is the epitome of the old journalism rule “show, don’t tell”.

Videos

Videos are an incredibly powerful way to communicate.  They give the narrator a chance to literally speak directly to their audience.  With the growth of cameras in cellphones, simplified editing and video social media sites, creating a video is easier than ever.   Organizations that embrace this opportunity are succeeding.  One great example is Old Spice.  If you google Old Spice, the second link (behind their site) is the brand’s YouTube page.

They saw incredible success with the “Man your man could smell like” campaign, launched in February of 2010, the original video has gotten over 44 million views and is STILL getting comments and prompting engagement 3 years later.  But what’s great about Old Spice is that they didn’t sit on their laurels, they’re pushing forward with a different video campaign called Wolfdog (a wolf/dog who is apparently their new Director of Marketing).

These are just a few examples of how powerful content can tell a story.  With the right strategy, organizations can use content to grow and succeed.  If you’d like to learn more about how Concentric Content Marketing can help your organization build and execute an effective content marketing strategy, contact us today.