Content Marketing

What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is all about the creation and distribution of high-quality content that attracts and engages audiences online. Like other traditional forms of marketing, content marketing is typically used to drive customer acquisition, deeper engagement with current customers, and for brand awareness.

The trend in content marketing has grown significantly over the past two decades as audiences have shifted to new media, consuming content in entirely new and savvy ways. This has led to brands big and small developing comprehensive content strategies with allocated marketing budgets.

Generally thought of as being separate from traditional advertising, content marketing is about communicating with customers in a way that adds value, without the sales pitch. The content itself is editorially-minded, and while contextually relevant to a product or service, provides information in the form of entertainment, education, emotional connection, or practical value.

Why Content Marketing?

Nielsen’s Global Trust In Advertising report found that across the world, the medium people tend to trust (or like) the least is text ads, specifically on mobile, where 65% of digital media is being consumed.

On the list of trusted mediums, editorial content outranked ads on TV, radio and billboards, as well as in newspapers and magazines.

History of Content Marketing

Content marketing is not new -- B2B marketers have been employing it for years, using assets like white papers and reports to pull in a target audience. With the rise of digital, however, marketers increasingly saw its appeal. Initially, it was an appealing and exciting inbound tactic for driving traffic.

Now, practitioners are successfully harnessing its power as an advanced method for capturing the attention of prospect, nurturing their engagement down the funnel to a more trustworthy and meaningful conversation.

What are the Common Types of Content?

Common types of content employed in a content marketing strategy include:

Blog Posts
or Articles

Blog posts or Articles

This is content in text form that could be on your own domain or a third-party site.

White Papers, eBooks,
and Reports

White Papers, eBooks, and Reports

This is in-depth, longer-form content that is educational in nature and often downloadable via a pdf.



Audio content like radio, but accessible anytime via the internet.

Email Newsletter or
Nurturing Campaigns

Email Newsletter or Nurturing Campaigns

Content delivered via email that serves to consistantly educate and inspire over time.



The movie picture we all know and love, most engaging in short segments no longer than two minutes.

Thought Leadership
or POVs

Thought Leadership or POVs

Bold opinions and ideas intended to move an industry forward.



Information displayed in graphic format typically including interesting data points.


How-To Guides

Educational content that lays out specific steps to learn and accomplish a goal.

Social media

Social media posts

Writen, graphic, and video content that takes on different formats depending on the social channel.

Case Studies and
Client Profiles

Case Studies and Client Profiles

Successful customer examples that showcase the problem and solution that your product or service has solved.

Content Distribution Channels

A common framework for understanding a content marketing strategy is the paid, owned, earned, and shared model.

Whether you invest in the promotion of paid content through platforms like Outbrain (that’s us), leverage third-party PR placements through earned media, spread the word organically through shared content on social media, or publish blog articles directly to owned channels such as your website, pretty much every type of content marketing you can do falls under one of these buckets.

But it’s not quite that simple.

Earned, owned, and shared content can all be paid content as well.


The news cycle never stops and the media landscape has a lot of noise. How can you make sure your press coverage or media mention get more visibility?


It takes time to grow your own email list and build your SEO authority. In the meantime, how do you get prospects to read the blog post you just published or the content on the website you just relaunched?


Social networks have significantly diminished the reach of your posts to your own followers and friends. How do you get more views on the Youtube video you just uploaded?

What Makes a Piece of Content Effective?

To do content marketing successfully, each piece of content within your content marketing strategy should hit on at least one of the below characteristics.

Social Currency

The extent to which people share content related to the brand or information about the brand as part of their everyday social lives at work, on the go, or at home.

Emotional Connection

The extent to which content can immediately and easily be acted upon, without people having to spend too much effort or money in order to reap its benefits.

Practical Value

The extent to which content can immediately and easily be acted upon, without people having to spend too much effort or money in order to reap its benefits.

Telling a Story No One Else Can

The extent to which an audience member’s content journey is shaped by an experience that is unique to only your brand.

Article Resources

For in-depth information on each of the areas above, please visit th efollowing articles:

B2B content marketing

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History of content marketing [infographic]

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Native ads vs. Content marketing

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A good content marketing strategy

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