When we started doing Rallyverse a few years ago, “content marketing” wasn’t really a thing yet. Sure, there were early adopters and enthusiasts at brands and agencies, but, as a label (much less a discipline), it wasn’t widely understood.
A lot has changed since then. The biggest change? That’s actually an easy one:
Everyone is a content marketer.
That is, content marketing has gone from a label for a discrete set of marketing outputs managed by a single person or department to a broad range of activities that span departments and functions across the enterprise. Here are just some of the departments and roles that are now in the content marketing game (and that we see right now in our conversations with our customers):
Especially in B2B scenarios, sellers are being challenged to connected with a new type of buyer, one who’s comfortable doing their own research and is looking for a consultation more than a quote. We see many of our customers looking to arm their sales force with great content so that interactions with prospects on social media and beyond are informed by the sorts of conversation starters that will build trust — and lead to sales.
Candidates are smart about learning about prospective employers before and during the job application process. Human resource departments have responded by building out content strategies to share details on their company — everything from products to leadership to everyday culture. Whether it’s on LinkedIn or a YouTube channel, HR now must take on the challenge of telling their company’s story, or risk missing out on the best candidates.
Content has always been an important part of the customer support process, but customers today demand more than just a pdf of a user guide. Today’s consumers expect how-to videos and even GIFs to help them to troubleshoot potential issues. And all of those assets are a great opportunity for the brand to connect with customers and tell its story.
CEOs and other executive leaders have embraced content marketing as a way to tell their company’s story while demonstrating industry thought leadership. From LinkedIn Influencer posts to active (and sometimes feisty!) Twitter accounts, content marketing is now part of the CEO’s role (and companies with social CEOs tend to outperform competitors).
Oh right. The folks that started all of this. While content marketing might be identified as a separate discipline in the marketing department, smart marketers have realized that managing content isn’t a campaign or tactic, it’s the fuel that drives most marketing activities. From the company web site to email marketing to social media to providing content to support other departments’ initiatives, marketers know that content powers it all.