How content marketing works

Darika Ahrens

When content marketing is creative and effective, it is a valuable marketing technique for building brand value. But if your content just pushes brand messages, it's not doing its job.

Procter & Gamble's radio shows like Guiding Light from the 1920s, followed later by its TV shows, pioneered branded content and gave us the term 'soap opera'. So if branded content has been around so long, why is content marketing today such a high-growth area for marketing spend? (Customer content spending has risen 9.2% to $43.9 billion, according to the Custom Content Council).

In part, the content marketing hype has been driven by the rise of social media; running a lot of interactive profiles requires a constant stream of updated content. Likewise, in the wake of the Google Penguin, search marketers continue to evangelise content for SEO purposes. But the need for quality brand content online and offline is part of a much bigger shift in the way we do marketing. It's not about the number of channels using content so much as the way brands need to approach marketing.