What is Content Marketing?

An article by: Bryan Haines | @BryanMHaines


So, just what is content marketing?

what is content marketing

Before we get into specifics, here’s a little history.

A Brief History of Content Marketing

Content marketing is a relatively new term, that appeared less than 20 years ago. Here are some of the oldest references I could find:

  • Joe Pulizzi (founder of Content Marketing Institute) is credited with coining the term “content marketing” back in 2001.
  • Bill Gates wrote about the importance of content as far back as 1996, stating simply that: Content is King.
  • Joseph J. Esposito (president of Encyclopedia Britannica North America) is quoted in the New York Times (February 1994) saying that content is king.

the locomotive oldest content marketingWhile the terminology is relatively new, the concept is not.

CMI cites a publication by Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company as the oldest example of content marketing.

They began publishing The Locomotive back in November of 1867. This print publication provided technical information for steam boiler operators.

It has been continuously published for over 147 years. It is now published and archived online.

What is Content Marketing?

Definition of Content Marketing: Content marketing is the use of content to explain and educate prospects about your business and your industry. Its goal is to promote your business and generate more revenue.

Content marketing is a general term that includes all forms of content – both online and offline. Content includes blogs, videos, publications, and social updates.

The term usually refers to online content such as blogs, video, and ebooks. Online content can be broken into two categories: long and short-form content. While they both have a place, long-form content is the backbone of your marketing. Short-form tends to promote your blog and any other long-form content you have created.

Examples of Long-Form Content

Long-form content is usually distributed and consumed on a platform you own – like your website. Here are some of the most common types of long-form content:

  • Blogs: There are lots of blogging platforms. I’m a fan of WordPress. Here’s why.
  • Video: This might be hosted at YouTube, Vimeo or on your own video hosting (like Wistia).
  • Podcasts: Both audio and video.
  • Publications: These might include ebooks, press releases and print books.

Long-form content is important because you own it. Readers can link to it and return again and again. It builds long term authority.

Examples of Short-Form Content

Short-form content is often published on social networks. The platform is almost always owned by a third party. Examples of this include updates on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. This content is often just a few sentences or a photo.

In most cases, short-form content doesn’t last. It quickly gets lost (within days or even hours) in the sea of new updates. This type of content is best for news, events, and promoting long-form content.

More reading: 6 Reasons Your Tourism Brand Needs Content Marketing

Are you using content marketing in your travel business? At Storyteller Media, we specialize in the creation of custom content marketing plans for travel brands.

Here’s an overview of the cost of our marketing services, including web design, content marketing, social media and SEO. Contact us to get started.