Stephen Kenwright

Head of Search at Branded3.

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Who defines content marketing?

Content is an element of a page not implicit in its function. It’s not the paper or the staples; nor is it templates or nav. It should be obvious that content is not what a page is but what a page does.

Speaking to Marketing Week yesterday CMA chairman Andrew Hirsch said

There is a lack of honesty with a number of agencies not traditionally in the content marketing space saying they can create content when they can’t. The absolute definition is being made murky because no one wants to admit they are not in the content marketing space.

I think Andrew’s words can be misconstrued.

An agency that can create content is just an agency that can populate a page.

Content marketing is the creation of content complicit in acquisition.

This is where, like Andrew says, so many agencies fall down. They can create something but it’s not going to acquire anyone.

So-called content marketers...

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How many content strategists does it take to sell a lightbulb?

According to

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling.

…and that’s fine.

But most businesses looking to engage a content marketing agency such as the one I work for are not OK with that. Obviously they want to sell their products.

…which is also fine, because content marketing is only a small part of what we call ‘content strategy’.

Here’s the truth: content strategy is part of product design. The content Google needs to see should be published long before you even think the words 'content marketing’.

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth is the only organic search strategy that exists in 2014. Post-ZMOT, a product description can’t consist of a few lines of text. A product description can extend over 10 pages. Your prospects are asking why they need your product which is a question content marketing...

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When did Pageviews become a vanity metric?

For the last few months every article I’ve read on ‘measuring content marketing success’ places Pageviews firmly under the 'metrics to ignore’ column - right next to Likes on Facebook.

Probably the best post I’ve seen on this is 'Death to Pageviews’ by Paul Fredrich on the always excellent Contently. Fredrich says

Engaged Time spent with content needs to be the new standard for brand publishers. Unless, of course, your goal is making money off display ads.

This is a half-truth. I agree that it’s preferable to measure how much time customers spend with your brand and prize that over the number of eyes your content receives, and it’s true that 1 engaged user is preferable to hundreds who don’t give a shit - but let’s take that example to its extreme.

You have one engaged user and you’ve sold one product. Depending on your margins that might be a success - but now what? Where do you...

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