The Maturation of Content Marketing


(source: SAP, 2013)

A great article popped up in The New York Times yesterday that seemed to appropriately piggyback off the “2014 marketing trends” we posted about a couple of days ago.

NewsCred, a Content Marketing Start-Up, Raises $25 Million 

For all of the buzz surrounding new short forms of digital marketing and consumers’ supposed “shorter attention span,” 2013 saw a real push from firms looking to communicate their value propositions through content marketing.

“2014 is the year when the content marketing category finally matures and newer players in the space — brands, agencies, startups — help us achieve real scale.” (Mashable, 12/26/2013)

Amazing right? Especially considering that content marketing in this country has roots dating back over 100 years, from John Deere launching its first “customer magazines” to Michelin’s  own “The Michelin Guides.”

But there may be truth to the idea of maturation in this space. As we see, our business, as with most others, has a cyclical quality. Trends fall in and out of style but what changes is the delivery system. Perhaps now, given the sheer number of connection points for customers,  is the ideal time for content marketers to convey the importance of their brand of messaging. The article above certainly seems to suggest someone is buying.

Do you see the value in content marketing? Who is the ideal target audience? Or, even more basic, what is the ideal product for a content marketing campaign?