These three words are, for me, the best summary of the objectives of Content Marketing. There are endless tools and metrics that are available to the content marketing professional. There are consultants and gurus who will offer advice on every facet but the reason for creating content is not to drive organic search results, nor to 'tell stories', it is to make money. Sometimes B2B businesses think that just because they don't sell online, they're not part of this funnel; that would be quite wrong.
In order to succeed, your content needs to be of interest to your community. The community is essential because, as is pointed out in the article below, it delivers social validation (essential in a virtual world).
In the instance of many B2B interactions, the final step is not an online purchase but often a meeting or a call.
Oddly, it is when the offline step occurs that the social side of content marketing really kicks in. It is, of course, enormously helpful for a prospect to be able to validate that they are dealing with an expert. However, perhaps more importantly, it is hugely helpful at a social level for people to be able to reference your content during a meeting. It is an easy way for them to start a conversation on a mutually-understood topic and to move forward in a more human interaction than complete strangers could have.
Content for inspiration and information; Community for social validation and recommendations; and Commerce for making the purchase.