If so, you might find a kindred spirit in Tim Matthews, a former content marketing curmudgeon. He outlines how he went from skeptical to promoter.
I understand his resistance to the term 'content marketing'. When I first encountered it, it seemed like a slightly pointless label to apply to something that felt natural.
[And yes, it can go too far sometimes, not everything needs to be re-labelled with 'content', books and movies do not need to be called "content distributors" for instance.]
I've been thinking about labels a lot today, having been on a panel earlier on a 'Pop Art vs High Art' debate. I do feel that labels are useful not only as an umbrella you can place different techniques under, but also as something you can react to and push back against. So I too have embraced the label, as a handy way of explaining a marketing technique that puts the reader-customer first.
Content marketing is basically your virtual shop window and shop assistant rolled in one: it's there to attract and inform customers before they even think about heading to the till. Unlike a shop, the form it takes can be varied: from blogs, to videos, to quizzes, and more. What they all have in common, when successful, is their relevance to the customer - whether they explain a thorny issue, or entertain them into coming back for more content.
The third aspect of my bias stemmed from my not appreciating how the types of content had evolved. I realized that it was a content-type shift; not the fact that the term content marketing was suddenly resulting in producing content after several hundred years of marketing. It was the fact that it was content – not format – first. Interesting articles first, not data sheets first. Instructional blogs, not glossy brochures. What really cemented my change of heart was thinking about how I buy. Just about every one of my purchases these days starts with a search on Google. I was experiencing personally what marketing analysts talk about as the shift in marketing; they’ll tell you that anywhere from 50% to 70% of the sales cycle begins with Google, and is completed without ever talking to a salesperson.