On the Value of Content Marketing

Despite what agencies, social media gurus and others may tell you, no platform or media on the Web is king. Content is not king. Twitter is not queen. Google is not an all-powerful court jester. The only royalty there truly can be is that of meaning. Unfortunately, meaning isn’t in the lexicon of most corporations or their marketing firms.

We can do more with social media and the Web than create content — even “sticky” content. We can go beyond metrics and impact and unique users and algorithms and “content” to create meaning and true value in people’s lives.

My work isn’t advertising or marketing, it’s meaning-making and relationship-building. It’s communicating with people (not at them), discovering their wants and needs from a perspective deeper than numbers or analytics can ever provide. And then engaging with them on a meaningful, not superficial, solely profit-seeking or vote-catching, level.

My intent is to offer value at every step of the process (“customer journey,” if you’re of the business mind). Not just product or sale value, but real value to the customer/reader/audience. Tooting your own horn all the time just isn’t as effective as you’d like it to be. It works well with sycophants seeking your solicitude, but not for regular folks. People want meaning. Thus, your “content” — that is, your writing and other creative products — must be meaningful and have value (that value that goes beyond remuneration) in the world.

Some will disagree with the value and meaning you propose. That’s the nature of those necessities in life. We each have different values. But it is as important for organizations as it is for people to have firm, but not inflexible, values that can be communicated through meaningful discussion.

It has to have more meaning than what a creative director at one client firm used to say,

It’s only MARCOM!

(That is the cry of a man who desperately seeks to design and create meaning and value.)

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