Phil Friedman

4 years ago · 4 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Content Marketing vs Marketing Content

Content Marketing vs Marketing ContentContent Marketing vs Marketing Content

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SMALL-BUSINESS PRIMER

DEMARKETING GURUS WHO DON'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONTENT MARKETING AND MARKETING CONTENT SHOULD JUST STFU... 


Social marketing and digital advertising media are very attractive to small businesses because, at least nominally, they deliver a really big bang for the buck. Or in the words of marketing gurus, very high "ROI".

I suggest, however, that as a small-business operator, you make a big mistake if you take at face value that which is preached about marketing by self-ascribed marketing gurus on social media...

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For example, just the other day, I read an article on "content marketing" that I could make neither heads nor tails of. I kept reading and re-reading sections, but I simply could not understand what the author, a self-proclaimed marketing "guru", was saying.

Now, I don't pretend to be any kind of a marketing guru or ninja or expert. I have, however, done quite a bit of marketing over the years, as a business executive, small-business owner/operator, and on contract as a copywriter and account exec for several marketing and advertising firms. So I understand something, if not everything about the topic. Yet, I struggled to understand what this particular author was saying.

Until that is, I realized he was switching between talking about "content marketing" and "marketing content" without indicating he was doing so and apparently without realizing he was doing it. Or maybe even without knowing the difference.

Content marketing comes in two varieties these days — outbound and inbound...

Outbound content marketing is, to all intents and purposes, the same as traditional print, radio, and television marketing, except that the predominating medium has shifted to the world of digital communications.

Some try to make a case that contemporary outbound content marketing is different from traditional (or legacy) marketing and advertising in that the traditional "message" has been replaced by content that provides value and benefit to the viewer even before any sales transaction completes. But to my mind, so did print, radio, and television marketing and advertising.

Print-advertising supported the delivery of editorial (informational) content in magazines. Radio-advertising supported the delivery of show content, music, comedy, drama, documentaries, etc. And television-advertising supported the delivery of content similar to that found on radio programs, except with visual content added.

In magazines, you paged through the ads as you read the editorial content. You listened to radio commercials in the course of enjoying the programming. And you watched television commercials in between taking delivery of the content you received.

Moreover, many of the magazines and shows delivered to the reader or listener much the same kind of informational content as is delivered now in "content marketing" — how to tips, consumer information, and product reviews, even documentaries.

Today, with the advent of digital media, content marketers who have grown up in the digital age want to think that content delivery as a hook to gain the attention of the market is something new and unique. But sorry, it just ain't so.

What is a break from traditional or "legacy" marketing is the immediate and interactive nature of digital media, and the resulting ability to do "inbound marketing" in a serious way...

Inbound Marketing
Buildling Community

Credibility
Profile
Brand Loyalty


Outbound Content Marketing involves push. Content, like advertising, is pushed out at targeted prospects in an effort to convince the target market of the value of your products services.

In contrast, Inbound Marketing involves pull, that is, it proceeds by way of building an interactive community within which to nurture brand recognition and loyalty.

Inbound marketing is a subtle, non-deceptive method for encouraging customers and prospects to think of, and come to you as a known and trusted resource when they are thinking of buying the type of goods or services you are selling.

By taking advantage of the interactive capabilities of the medium (online delivery of content), inbound marketing does indeed break with "legacy" marketing. Much more than outbound does.

Still, both outbound and inbound marketing use content to sell goods and services, other than the content itself...

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The content in Content Marketing becomes a tool for building — among other things, market presence, credibility, and branding.

Which is what the self-proclaimed marketing guru referred to earlier simply didn't seem to grasp. In his rush to sell his B2B marketing services to his readers, he shifted seamlessly into talking about the importance and value of "marketing content", without distinguishing it from "content marketing".

This is not nitpicking. If you can't tell the difference between the tool and the work it does, you'll likely be a lousy mechanic. And if you can't tell the difference between content marketing and marketing content, you'll almost certainly be a lousy marketer. Not a marketing guru.   — Phil Friedman


Postscript: This is an excerpt from my upcoming eBook, Small-Business Primer: Real -World  Tips for Starting and Running Your Own Small Business. For information on securing a copy, email  phil@portroyalgroup.com and put "small-business book" on the subject line.


Author's notes:   If you found this article of value, you  might also want to look at some of my other writing about small business operations, management, and marketing:

"Five Ways to Improve Profits... Now  (Pt. I)"

"Five Ways to Improve Profits... Now  (Pt. II)"

"Common Myths About Starting Your Own Small-Business"

"Small Businesses Need to Keep a Close Eye on Gross Profit"

To receive notifications of my writings on a regular basis, click the [FOLLOW] button on my beBee profile. Better yet, click [Subscribe To This Blog by Email].  As a writer-friend of mine says, you can always change your mind later.

Feel free to "like" and "share" this post and my other LinkedIn articles — whether on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. I ask only that you credit me properly as the author, and include a live link to the original work.

If you are interested in yachts, are allied with the yacht building industry, or operating a small business in another sector, you should consider joining my beBee Hive,

THE PORT ROYAL GROUP for Yacht Builders, Buyers and Owners

where you will find experienced industry professionals discussing a wide range of topics. The ongoing conversation is always interesting, informative, and 100% industry insider.

Finally, If you would like to discuss marketing, management, or other issues you face in your efforts to join the ranks of small business, email or message me to arrange for a free, no-obligation, initial consult.


About me, Phil Friedman:   With 30 some years background in the marine industry, I've worn numerous hats — as a yacht designer, boat builder, marine operations and business manager, marine industry consultant, marine marketing and communications specialist, yachting magazine writer and editor, yacht surveyor, and marine industry educator. I am also trained and experienced in interest-based negotiation and mediation. In a previous life, I taught logic and philosophy at university.

Improving small-business profit... now

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Text Copyright © 2017 by Phil Fnedman — All Rights Reserved
Image credits Phil Fnedman, Google Images. and FreeDigitialPhotos net

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Comments

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #55

#88
Yes, Claire, when your market is in the off-line world, your marketing needs and strategy are different from what they would be if your market lives in the digital world. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Claire L Cardwell

4 years ago #54

Phil Friedman - thanks for this, about 10 years ago I started an ad-campaign on google adwords - it initially worked really well, then a couple of years ago inquiries dropped off dramatically. I get a far better ROI from my inbound content marketing. Like you I do not make my sales online but in the real world.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #53

#85
Yes, Gerald, some "thingies" really do. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #52

Thank you, Juan Imaz, for sharing this post. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #51

#80
Thank you, Aurorasa. As Gerald Hecht likes to say, "Res ipsa loquitur". Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #50

While http://info.mytaskit.com/ebook-improve-marine-services-profits illustrates how Content Marketing works, my contract to write the eBooklet content used is an example of my Marketing Content to the marine management software firm, MyTaskit, who wanted to use it for the purposes of Content Marketing. Any questions?

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #49

Some readers have asked me in emails to give more examples of the difference between Content Marketing and Marketing Content. Here is a very good example of Content Marketing: http://info.mytaskit.com/ebook-improve-marine-services-profits, namely, the use of content to open leads to prospective clients.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #48

My thanks go out to all of you for your expressions of "relevant" for this post, which has continued to rise despite the bit of friction present in this comments thread. And my regrets and apologies to those of you who have written privately to me to say that you have been discomfited by the acrimony which has crept into the conversation. I hope you understand that it is not always possible to remain silent. My best to all of you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #47

#65
The transparency of "This might be a better link on content marketing if you are interested in how to do it well..." speaks for itself, as does your obvious commercial self-promotion. Why not just post your own updates and articles? You and I both know why not.

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #46

Thanks for all the comments ! All these comments are pushing this article to the top ! 😎😎😎😎😎 Content Marketing is cool and is trendy ! Have a great week !!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #45

#68
#67 Not at all, Geoffrey, it would be almost hilarious, if it weren't so pathetic. I have never minded disagreement or criticism, if it involves substance and supporting argument. But after years of scurrilous ad hominem attacks and uninmaginative attempts by my dedicated, pet troll to use the context of my posts for his blatantly obvious attempts at self-promotion, the entire business has gotten very old. Which still doesn't mean I can't see humor in your comment(s).Thanks for the chuckle. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #44

#59
#53 #44 The saga of the continual trolling and spamming on my posts by a single individual continues. What is evident right here in this thread is the blatant attempt to use the modest popularity of many of my posts as a springboard to gain attention for the troll which he cannot otherwise garner because of the lackluster quality of his own published work. There is no other plausible explanation for the self-contradictory actions, on the one hand, of denigrating me personally and my posts while, on the other hand, seeking to use the platform which those posts provide to pursue blatant, and non-contributory commercial self-promotion. I usually ignore it, but I am now receiving private emails from readers telling me how tiresome it has become, and asking me to report it. Which I have done, albeit reluctantly. CC: Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #43

#63
Thank you D-L for the kind words and for the perspective. Iassure you, I will never say STFU to you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #42

#59
PS, Todd, thanks for speaking out about how ridiculous many of the claims are. Which is something that anyone interested can see by following some of the links supplied. Oh yes, and by getting the free plans for building one's own bull chip finder. ‪http://www.bebee.com/content/1212213/1105058

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #41

#59
PS, Todd, thanks for speaking out about how ridiculous many of the claims are. Which is something that anyone interested can see by following some of the links supplied. Oh yes, and by getting the free plans for building one's own bull chip finder. ‪https://www.bebee.com/content/1212213/1105058

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #40

#59
Yes, Todd, but you've also learned a thing or two about recognizing BS when yo read it. Even without a bull chip dowser ... ‪https://www.bebee.com/content/1212213/1105058‬

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #39

My thanks go out to all of you for your expressions of "relevant" for this post, which have continued to rise despite the bit of friction present in this comments thread. And my regrets and apologies if any of you have been discomfited by the acrimony that has crept into the conversation. I hope you understand that it is not always possible to remain silent. My best to all of you. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #38

#56
Thank you, Federico \ud83d\udc1d \u00c1lvarez San Mart\u00edn,, looking forward to the new version. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #37

#53
Neither have I, Jim. What you know that many others may not is that this has been going on for years. And it is truly beyond me why someone who professes so little regard for my writing and my work spends so much effort trying to tear it down. No, correct that, not disagree backed by argument, but in ad hominem attack. Well, the work product speaks for itself.. And I thank you for having the grit to speak out.on this. Cheers, my friend.

Jim Murray

4 years ago #36

I have never really understood the almost chronic need that Robert Bacal has to criticize you at every opportunity. For someone who hardly ever publishes anything here you'd think he would have even a grudging respect for the fact that you are pretty much the highest drawing writer on this platform, and realize that his pathetic attempts to demean you only make him look foolish in front of a hell of a lot of people. Talk about screwing your personal brand into the ground. This is bullshit.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #35

#49
Absolutely pathetic, Robert, and again complete misrepresentation.! Intentional lying or incompetence, one can only guess. www.learn2engage.org www.wwaco.org

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #34

RE #41 - some URL corrections: http://portroyalgroup.com/ http://yachtbuildadvisor.com/ http://boatbuildconsult.com/ http://aerolitemarine.com/

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #33

http://portroyalgroup.com/ http://yachtbuildadvisor.blogspot.com/ http://boatbuildconsult.com/ http://aerolitemarine.com

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #32

#44
Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, thank you. Notwithstanding my momentary frustration that really has nothng to do with beBee, I personally have every confidence that the new iteration of the platform will be truly great. And I for one am looking forward to it with excitement. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #31

#41
- URL corrections: http://www.portroyalgroup.com http://www.YachtbuildConsult.com http://www.YachtBuildAdvisor.com http://www.AeroLiteMarine.com

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #30

Phil Friedman we are working on a great new platform. Sorry for the inconvenience. Thanks ! Few weeks to go.!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #29

Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, the enhanced moderation and blocking tools cannot be introduced too soon IMO.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #28

#40
Robert Bacal, for the record here, my statements in this post do not question that ROI can be tracked online, but rather question whether what can be tracked online is the ROI that most of us who sell off-line goods and services think of as a return on investment for our marketing expenditures of time and money. In other words, for most of us in business ROI is measured in sales revenues. Not in the metrics that are pushed by so many digital marketers. Beyond that, in answer to your direct question, I generally do noT engage you directly 1) because most of what you say in comments exhibits either a refusal to spend the time to read or an inability to understand what you read; 2) because contrary to your pretense, you never engage in conversation in good faith, but always seek to cockwalk and pose as an expert; and 3) because I have over the past several years repeatedly asked you, since you consistently express such a low opinion of what I write and publish, to simply stay off and stop disrupting the comments threads of my posts, the ones, remember, for which you consistently express a total disdain. Oh, and additionally for the record, I additionally refuse to engage with you because you lie without conscience. Continued Pt II

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #27

#40
-- Pt II ... For example, contrary to your claim, I have a number of websites that are complete and have been used as "brochure" sites in marketing my consulting services: http://www.portroyalgroup.com http://www.YachtbuildConsult http://www.YachtBuildAdvisor http://www.AeroLiteMarine.com I also have a quite extensive profile posted on LinkedIn, which not only includes an in-depth photo-illustrated portfolio of a significant sampling of my prior work, as well as an array of documentable letters of recommendation from well-known and reachable industry professionals with whom I've worked in the past. https://www.linkedin.com/in/friedmanphil/ And I have numerous times provided documentation of my peer-reviewed and editor-judged writing background, including the following portfolio: https://www.bebee.com/producer/@friedman-phil/i-ll-show-you-mine-then-you-show-me-yours I invite anyone interested to review this material, then judge for themselves the veracity or lack thereof of your self-serving statements and misrepresentations. And I respectfully suggest that, in the meantime, you go piss up a tree.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #26

#36
Yes, @Kevin Pashuk, one of the things I try to do is elicit discussion because, as you may have noticed, the discussions on many of my posts contain as much valuable crowd-sourced content as the post itself. Unfortunately, there are those who comment without bothering to read or try to understand either the post or the comments in the thread, but who trigger on a phrase or two and launch into a self-promotional monologue. For instance, pointing out in this context that one's sales come from visits to one's website (a variant of content marketing) and completely ignoring that nothing I've said is in conflict with that claim. And not understanding that marketing content has to with selling content-creation services to those who want to do content marketing, but not create their own content. Maybe I should write a piece on reading before writing... Oh wait, I already offer a course the tagline for which is "Before writing comes thinking." Cheers and thanks for joining the conversation.

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #25

#26
Phil Friedman I think this is a brilliant idea. Certainly there are many authors who would want to introduce, store and market their ebooks in a dedicated hive. This can also serve as a hive for attracting new beBee members and for book reviews. Many possibilities - should you or someone else create the hive - I'm in.

Kevin Pashuk

4 years ago #24

Late to the comment game... Thanks for taking the time to differentiate and to call out the self proclaimed expert. The Social Media landscape is filled with a significant amount of 'blather, drivel and rot', or more specifically opinion based on opinion, not on research. It certainly clogs the pipes and causes me to be very selective with the small amount of time I have available to hang out in this world. I find that rather than channeling my frustration into writing an excellent counter post (such as yours), I usually skip by such pieces and move on to trusted writers (or those recommended by those I trust). Sounds like you have crowd sourced your next e-book.

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #23

Thanks everybody for your comments ! all of them are interesting !

don kerr

4 years ago #22

#26
I'm in.

don kerr

4 years ago #21

Recently read a good article (Why context, not content, is King in marketing) by Tony Zambito. If you want the link send me a message. Anyway, here's one short excerpt with which I heartily agree. "The marketing campaign mentality has also contributed to a paralyzing fixation on analytics. The struggle for many organizations is having the ability to gain functional insights from an overwhelming cascade of numbers. Numbers that are devoted to measuring campaign effectiveness but yet are not connected to a larger overarching purpose. In essence, creating an ironic “numbers” game by creating multiple campaigns in hopes of being successful on a few."

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #20

#24
Paul, I've been wondering whether, once the new tools are in place for managing hives, it might not be a good idea to crate "The eBookstore on beBee" hive, to help authors promote their eBooks. Would be interested in hearing opinions about that.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #19

#24
I've been wondering whether, once the new tools are in place for managing hives, it might not be a good idea to crate "The eBookstore on beBee" hive, to help authors promote their eBooks. Would be interested in hearing opinions about that.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #18

#20
Thank you, Paul, for the kind words. I'd be more than pleased to gain your help in the launch. Will PM when the time comes. Still editing. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #17

#8
Yes, Praveen. And the difference between content marketing and marketing content is the difference between shooting game and selling the ammo for shooting game. But I often see the two confused in discussions of digital marketing. Of course, that may just be me.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #16

#17
But Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, I don't make sales online. And neither do most of the business people with whom I deal. We market online, but our sales are offline, in -- I am tempted to say -- the real world. And my point is that a lot of the marketing advice published in social media, and a lot of the talk about ROI, fails to recognize that there is an offline world of sales revenue. And as a result, much of that marketing advice is misapplied to a large percentage of small businesses. Witness, the ridiculous position I've seen propagated that you can measure digital marketing ROI click-throughs to your website or email addresses captured. In the world I live in, marketing ROI is measured in generated sales revenue. Something that few, if any marketers of content want to talk about.

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #15

#18
yes Bill Stankiewicz, \ud83d\udc1d Brand Ambassador ! Content Marketing is really cool and it works ! As everything, it requires time and a lot of effort.

Great info here Phil! Thanks for sharing Aurorasa Sima, you have a great eye for interesting technology reads & trends here. regards, Bill Stankiewicz

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #13

#16
Phil Friedman you need to place Analytics code on your website to track your sales but anybody can :) of course we are talking about online sales. Technology is great !

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #12

#14
@Javier 🐝 beBee, how does Google know when I make a sale in my consulting business? More importantly, I am not talking about a tool for tracking and analyzing, but rather about what is the return on investment in marketing. And my point is that, unless your business is monetizing some form of online activity, the real ROI on your marketing is sales revenue, not, for example, click-throughs to your website. My marketing efforts could drive a million visits to my website, but if not one of those visitors is eventually converted to a buyer of my consulting services, then my true marketing ROI is zero. And that is true for any small business that sells non-digital goods or services. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #11

#14
Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, how does Google know when I make a sale in my consulting business?

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #10

#13
Phil Friedman you can track Sales/ROI and any point of control through the process. Analytics is very powerful.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #9

Feb 21, 2017 12:18:41 PM #11 @Javier 🐝 beBee, perhaps, someone could explain to me how Google Analytics tracks sales revenue -- which is, to my mind, the only true metric for ROI when it comes to marketing. My point is that activity such as views is a ROI only for those who are marketing and somehow monetizing online activity. For those marketing goods and devices in the offline (real?) world, online activity does not constitute, in itself, an ROI. Cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #8

#11
Javier \ud83d\udc1d beBee, perhaps, someone could explain to me how Google Analytics tracks sales revenue -- which is, to my mind, the only true metric for ROI when it comes to marketing. My point is that activity such as views is a ROI only for those who are marketing and somwehown monetizing online activity. For those marketing goods and devices in the offline (real?) world, online activity does not constitute, in itself, an ROI. Cheers!

Javier 🐝 CR

4 years ago #7

We use Google Analytics - it has become a standard. Probably it is not the best tool... but it is Google ! :-)

Gert Scholtz

4 years ago #6

Phil Friedman Thanks for this Phil - it does clarify a lot which was formerly vague to me. Also in your comment below - don't understand how some measure ROI on clicks - just doesn't make sense. As you point out conversion to sales is what really counts.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #5

#5
Yes, Jim, I agree. I think the problem is a lack of understanding that what changes in the digital era is the medium, not the message or the principles of marketing. Over the past five years, I've attended a dozen meetings and seminars on social marketing and the like. And heard endless talk about "ROI". But in every case, when I probe about how ROI is measured the answer inevitably boils down to "clicks". Never to conversions or sales. But clicks are pure BS because, among other things, there are firms that hire people to sit on their cellphones and click through en masse to websites from digital ads. Conversion of clicks to sales is the only ROI metric that makes any real sense. Cheers!

Jim Murray

4 years ago #4

Good post Phil Friedman. As you know I have been hacking at that same digital tree in the petrified forest of marketing for a couple of years now, and I can say with real certainty that you are right on the money here. The sad part is that the digital marketing industry has got all kinds of bullshit rationale for what they sell and it's always just around the corner. The other thing that people really need to understand is that the results that can be achieved by traditional advertising and direct marketing methods have not noticeably changed throughout since the coming of digital marketing, content marketing and the latest flavour of the month BS, social selling. And those numbers are incredibly high relative to what can be achieved in digital. That's not to say that some companies don't do well in the digital realm or that digital is not growing in importance. But for most companies, it's currently just a lot of money that could have been better spent. Trouble is finding someone who will tell you the truth. Lot of fake news in digital. Sad.

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #3

#2
I will be quite gratified, Devesh, if my work in this area proves to be that. Thanks and cheers!

Phil Friedman

4 years ago #2

#1
Thank you, Aurorasa. I am endeavoring in the eBook to provide real-world pointers for real-world small-business people and would-be small-business people. And to help those new to small business to avoid the purveyors of BS who are so prevalent these days on social media, where self-ascription and self-certification is rampant. Cheers!

Devesh 🐝 Bhatt

4 years ago #1

A cure for a contagious disease. Thanks

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