Let’s look at how experts define “content”, while keeping in mind that some experts have even claimed that the term “content” is rather elusive and ambiguous to define. Depending on their background, different experts define ‘content’ differently. Naturally, if we would like to understand ‘Content Marketing’, we must first understand the term ‘content’ from different perspectives.

In the last post, we briefly looked at why “content” is critical for a well functioning marketing department of any brand or business. Now, let’s look at diverging opinions of experts on “content” and it’s implications.

Here are few short and simple definitions from the experts:

Compelling information that informs, engages or amuses.

Joe Pulizzi

Relevant, compelling, timely and valued knowledge and/or entertainment.

David Erickson

Useful information has a context, easy to consume, device-agnostic, shareable and non-intrusive.

@contenttribe

Content is: engaging, relevant, reliable, interesting, entertaining or enlightening in the form of text, image, video or audio.

@MeetTheBossTV

Content is anything created to be engaging, clever, insightful, beautiful and intelligent; and should fundamentally connect with your target audience.

Andrew Johnson

Content is any information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers.

Kathryn Aragon

Some of the more elaborate and nuanced definitions of “content” are:

Content is high quality, useful information that conveys a story presented in a contextually relevant manner with the goal of soliciting an emotion or engagement. Delivered live or asynchronously content can be expressed using a variety of formats including text, images, video, audio and/or presentations.

Heidi Cohen

Such a broad question. Could be spam, could be some technical writing on the back of a product, could be ad copy, etc. In marketing, what it should be is: anything that creates brand advocacy, leads potential customers down the conversion path, or nurtures leads and current customers.

Dan Bischoff

There is a group of experts claiming that the term “content” is too generic and ambiguous to define. Some of their views are:

If one can reasonably begin an response with “Content is anything…”. In the end, “content” is the generic binary term to “form,” where form could be a physical form—a box, a jar, a bottle—or a conventional form of media—a video, a show, an essay, a blog post, a play, a novel.

Matthew T. Grant

The thing about the term “content” is that it’s just vague enough to mean everything and anything, which is to say it doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s essentially a word that means “stuff to fill an empty space with.” It could be photos, video, marketing copy, thorough analysis, poetry, farts, vacuous nonsense, cat hair or cheese cubes. The only thing it hints at is that there is a finite volume of the space it must fill. Ironically, the word itself is a vessel for more content: Here’s an empty word. Now fill it with meaning.

Olivier Blanchard

One thing you ought to know about, is that there is an organization called Content Marketing Institute (CMI). CMI’s mission is to advance the practice of content marketing. The CMI website is full of practical, how-to guidance, insights and expert advice from the industry.

In the next post, we will go over the topic of branded vs non-branded content and it’s effect on the overall content strategy.

For now, let’s have a look at a short video of the founder of Content Marketing Institute (CMI), and a first rate content marketing guru Joe Pulizzi. In this video, he emphasizes the need for all brands and businesses to recognize the all enveloping paradigm shift and consider themselves first and foremost as publishers.

Joe Pulizzi: “We are all publishers now”

Kunal Choudhary

Hey there, this is Kunal Choudhary — I am passionate about writing and creative communication. I live and work in Bangalore, India.

I believe 'Content Marketing' is precisely what 'Marketing' is supposed to be. This blog is just a humble attempt to inform and educate industry professionals and interested folks on 'Content Marketing'.

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