Content Marketing Simplified

There is a growing market out there for content marketing. Not the old fashioned kind where magazine companies would create custom magazines for brands, marketers, and retailers. I am talking about the Internet version in which brands, marketers, retailers and other businesses create blogs, twitter accounts, facebook pages, and the like and then spend money filling those pages with content. Many brands have full time employees creating this content. Others use third parties and even freelancers to do it.

In many ways I see this as the future of online marketing. Instead of paying tens of millions of dollars a year (or more) creating banner ads and paying to run them on pages filled with someone else's content, marketers can create their own web and mobile presences and use the most efficient form of advertising, pay per click advertising, to drive traffic to these pages and then engage in a conversation with their customers and potential customers.

I like to think of this as moving the message from a banner to your brand and changing the engagement from a view to a conversation. It also helps that this approach works better on mobile where we are spending more and more of our time every day.

At USV we have quite a few companies engaged in this world of content (or conversational) marketing including Twitter, Tumblr, SoundCloud, Disqus, Zemanta, and GetGlue. Based on what I am seeing from these companies, marketers are responding quickly to the opportunities presented by content marketing and the market is growing rapidly. That makes a lot of sense to me.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Pete Griffiths

    Makes sense to me too. Good content is non-interruptive and adds value.

  2. ErikSchwartz

    Andrew Sullivan had an interesting take on this the other day.http://dish.andrewsullivan….He quotes e b white “A funded article is a tempting morsel for any publication—particularly for one that is having a hard time making ends meet. A funded assignment is a tempting dish for a writer, who may pocket a much larger fee than he is accustomed to getting. And sponsorship is attractive to the sponsor himself, who, for one reason or another, feels an urge to penetrate the editorial columns after being so long pent up in the advertising pages. These temptations are real, and if the barriers were to be let down I believe corruption and abuse would soon follow.”

    1. fhhindc

      “If the barriers were to be let down I believe corruption and abuse would soon follow.” — That ocean-going vessel has sailed…

      1. btrautsc


    2. kidmercury

      the world is already this way. as if big media is some honest bastion of journalism void of corruption. i believe a transparent model will only raise awareness of this issue and thus improve the situation.

      1. JLM

        .I agree more with you than you do with yourself.Even amongst professional journalists, writers who write favorable articles about politicians are rewarded in a very valuable currency — improved access.There is a reason why 60 Minutes gets all the plum political interviews — they are gently blowing their subjects — ooops, that is a bit crude and I apologize in advance but the sentiment is sincere.It has even gotten worse than that. As the White House turns down the supply of access, it simultaneously increases the supply of flattering pictures and stories thereby completely controlling their public perception.Made worse still by the media which unable to obtain access, commentary, pictures just uses what is available as if the White House itself has now become part of the pool.In reality, the White House IS the pool these days and journalists are so desperate to fulfill their assignments, they just take the “pool report” as the basis for writing their otherwise pathetic lack of insight stories.They have been weaned from actual journalism by a shrewd and manipulative White House.Well done and well played, White House.JLM.

        1. kidmercury

          not just in politics, but in the tech world too, and probably many other spheres of life. try being a prominent writer at a tech blog and ripping apple a new one. then let’s see how many apple events you get invited to. not getting invited to events means not breaking stories, not getting exclusives….which in turn means less page views….which in turn means less revenue…..

          1. awaldstein

            That’s just life…no?

          2. kidmercury

            yes, which is why i’m not too concerned about integrity issues with content marketing. there will be integrity issues — just as there always have been. if anything, i expect there to be less.

          3. awaldstein

            Bad material. Disingenuous material.It simply doesn’t get read. The market votes with its attention. That’s the great filter.

          4. Cam MacRae

            You have more faith in the market than I do.

          5. awaldstein

            The market is always right.1000 words on just that here:Marketing matters…

          6. Cam MacRae

            The market is frequently wrong and just as frequently self harms. Markets are irrational and generally incomplete. Marketers routinely use these facts to their advantage, but that doesn’t make the market right, only useful.

          7. awaldstein

            I have friends who hold your view.Sure, incomplete and irrational. But it is the only proof of success.Judging it wrong creates a platform for excuses, judging it the norm just means you have work harder and smarter to evolve it to see your value and place in it.Been disagreeing a lot this week. Healthy sign of discussion.

          8. Cam MacRae

            Yes, healthy. As always I appreciate your point of view.

          9. JamesHRH

            Barnum & Bailey would disagree with you…. as would 10,000 pages of consumer protection legislation.

          10. awaldstein

            Don’t understand the reference to B & B.Boring doesn’t have anything to do with usefulness. I wrote Environmental Protection Docs for a short while a long time ago. Most boring, formulaic things imaginable. Back then, they got read by everyone and changed stuff. Intent and usefulness ruled.What I can about is not what is but what you can do to change it.Your company/mine/clients, need a way in. Being on point. Being smart. Being true. Being interesting can change the world. I’ll stick to that as my message cause it provide action and honestly, that’s what I care about.

          11. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Our biggest problem nowadays – and not just in this context – is a lack of integrity in the world – a lack of conviction to ‘say it like it is’ – the gutless and passive lives most people lead has debilitated mankind to the extent we’ve reached this mess in the world, rife with corruption, lies, vacuousness, false gods, inane consumerism…

          12. FlavioGomes

            Carl….that is all a matter of context.

          13. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Context? That’s far too subtle a nuance of life for the mainstream, nowadays. Most content is idiot-proof – as befits the idiots that are most consumers.

      2. CJ

        “This comment was paid for” Fine, but was it a good comment? Good, I’m OK with that.I agree, with transparency it should all shift out.

      3. ErikSchwartz

        It’s the difference between Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Iris in Taxi Driver. Content marketing aspires to be Holly but almost always ends up as Iris.

        1. fredwilson

          great line

        2. Brandon Burns


        3. ShanaC


    3. Donna Brewington White

      After @awaldstein:disqus sharing last week that he was reading *Charlotte’s Web* to hone his writing (or something to that effect) and now this quote I am thinking that E.B. White is someone worth attention. I’ve always just thought of him as a great children’s author.

      1. awaldstein

        Wordsmith of the highest excellence.I studied the essay form as hobby for years. E.B White. Joan Didion. Understanding the tension between fact and opinions, stories and reporting, narrative and setting the scene and cadence…nothing better.

  3. William Mougayar

    Exactly. What you have described in Inbound marketing cc: @dharmesh, and what HubSpot is betting the farm on. Even the PR/Comm agencies are in it big time, e.g. Edelman with @steverubel as Chief Content Strategist. I expect the new to be all about that.Incidentally, that was Eqentia’s business which we had to wind down unfortunately for non-funding. We had an amazingly comprehensive platform that covered the whole end-to-end spectrum from finding to curating to publishing to marketing content (and Edelman was a client).However, making this a monetizable business was hard, because there is an incredible amount of free un-bundling that has already happened in the content production value chain. No one wants to pay for finding content or organizing it. The only players making money are the CMS platforms because that’s where the publishing is happening and it’s happening on existing websites and properties that are extending themselves as content destinations.I learned a tremendous lot doing Eqentia and I’m not bitter about it. My next project will have a lot to do with content marketing, with a different twist. Stay tuned 🙂

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Sorry to hear that William (didn’t know). I can only imagine how the monetary side was wild. I saw where Russel Simmons said (or quoted someone else), “Success is 99% failure!”


      Where is the new It’s been in the making quite a while. It otta’ be something really really great when it’s launched.

      1. fredwilson

        stalled over a branding issue. we hope to get it out once we settle on a new brand identity.


          I’ve heard lots of excuses for failed software projects in my day but that’s a new one! So, in other words you hired the wrong development team?

    3. ShanaC

      what about percolate?

      1. William Mougayar

        HubSpot is different from Percolate. There are prob 2 dozen companies now with some similar flavors to Percolate.

  4. kidmercury

    yes, FINALLY, we’re getting to this point. the key points of my view on this:1. technology gets commoditized as the critical labor input shifts from software developers to blog stars. yes, of course you need both, and lots of other stuff, the total package, etc. but i believe short software/long content will be a profitable trade.2. i believe quality content does not scale as well as quality software does.3. of course, much like social apps, content these days means community. so all the stuff about community management and governance still applies. the issues surrounding API policies will find a mirror in the content world.4. i believe the rise of a publishing company is what finally disrupts search and the PPC search business model.

    1. SD

      Fantastic comment, particularly point #2.

      1. William Mougayar

        OK, but these 2 are not related. You run content differently than you run software development. To each their own.


          Hmm… That sparks some real nifty ideas!!!

        2. SD

          True – but in my view the point is more about 2 parts of the content business: the software that enables search, playback, sharing, etc… and the content that is delivered. Both are ostensibly businesses where you invest up front, and there is low to no marginal cost per unit sold. But [good] content seems to have finite audience, whereas [good] software, especially in winner take all markets, seems to have much larger potential audience. Hence i thought km’s point was astute. But as we know, every comment is a rorschach test for the reader!

    2. William Mougayar

      Kid- re: #4. I don’t understand what publishing company you have in mind. EVERYONE and EVERY COMPANY is a publisher now.So, the publishing is within.

      1. kidmercury

        saying everyone is a publisher is like saying everyone is a basketball player. sure, i can dribble a ball and on a good day maybe even make a free throw. technically, i have the ability to play basketball. alas, much to the disappointment of my bank account, there is a world of difference between my basketball capabilities and those of lebron james or any pro player. likewise, there is a difference between a publisher and a professional publisher.

        1. CJ

          Not much anymore. The rise of a new breed of professional publisher may have the power for disruption (See Amazon) but there is very little that the publisher does that one can’t do for oneself right now.The barbarians have swarmed the gates, the publishers need to figure out how to operate in a world without them.


          Yes, but you’re just commenting on the “skill level”. I think William is closer to correct. Although it is very important to keep in mind. Some people and their organization(s) don’t do any publishing or even content creation because the outsource that function(s).

        3. William Mougayar

          I agree. That’s why it’s an issue now. It’s easy to be mediocre at anything, but it’s also possible to be as good as a “professional” publisher, whatever professional means.

        4. Brandon Burns

          oh man, i couldn’t agree with you more. unfortunately, the majority of the world will just think anyone can write a nice piece of content, and the value of a skilled publisher will plummet. this is happening in design right now, as will probably happen in web dev soon.

          1. Dave W Baldwin

            I understand your concern, but we must keep pushing. There will always be the next steppe of interface, interaction and so on. Those who are truly creative will perform and the creative with perseverance will work wonders. Content marketing is a current rant. We need to push folks to see outside 9-16 months.

        5. fredwilson

          heats knicks on right now and i am on plane following it on twitter.

          1. kidmercury

            yup got it on watching now! melo is on fire!!!!

          2. fredwilson

            damn. i want to see that. he is a punk and a thug, a thunk. but he’s my thunk. and his sidekicks JAR and KMART are my other thunks.

  5. btrautsc

    Its already happening – its just most companies are still *bad* at it… look at this blog, where not too subtly, I believe you and some other VCs share knowledge about your industry, yourself, and your beliefs (content) to build a brand and entice potential portfolio companies to favor your firm (marketing). The new age of content marketing is here. Look at HN – I would assume any given day 50% of the front page is marketing-as-content, and I’m totally fine with that, I am trading some mind share or time on site for the information some brand (individual) can share with me.The problem for the ‘marketers’ at large is they lack the soul. AVC, Feld, & the best HN posters are successful because they have soul. There is depth to the brand, and that resonates with their target. Too many big brands throw up pages, pay interns to populate it with sanitized posts & tweets, and expect conversions. That = fail.

    1. awaldstein

      Agree that most companies are very bad at this but there is a core behavioral reason for it.General statements like ‘marketers at large lack soul’ is of course, just silliness and skirting the issue.The issue is wrapped up in the reality that companies are not individuals of course and the voice is never natural. People as brands, ala and others, and companies as personalized/humanized brands is key why of this discrepancy.This post dug into this question deeply. Great discussion in the comments although a few months old.Socially all mashed up…

      1. CJ

        Companies should be good at it though, but often they are engaging in an illusion for sales and are loathe to shatter it.The best place to go to learn about Blu-Ray should be a Sony site and that site should foster discussion and should be the most informative on the planet. However, that will never be the case because discussions will spring up that Sony is uncomfortable with and they’ll seek to censor or persecute and those actions will drive away rather than endear and thus Sony misses their chance to sell Blu-Ray players to a captive audience and that audience instead will get their information on the web at large where it’s a free for all for every brand. #marketing fail

        1. awaldstein

          At one time I would have agreed with you but the days of companies still having internal debates about how to manage non positive comments on blog posts, is I hope, over. I’m not hearing it from my clients at least.But you touch on something bigger and more important…that of companies being the best or even capable of mediating discussions on product or technologies.Want to know about nutrition, you don’t go to the manufacturer. About cars, About most anything. You find communities. Bloggers. Not companies.Facts are not what we we are having trouble finding, opinions of interest and value, and most companies just can’t find the right way to address this and equally most consumer look elsewhere.An exception and an example of a corporate blog that does this well has always been Boxee. Haven’t been in awhile but in the past has held it up as an example of a community rallying around a manufacturer for guidance and info and a company that just knows how to handle discussions.

          1. CJ

            Smaller companies maybe, but if Sony hosted a community and they published a hack firmware for one of Sony’s blu-ray players it would come down in a heartbeat. My argument is that post should be ignored at worst, praised even if the company is enlighten. Co-opt the dev team to figure out what the customer wants and build it in. Alas, won’t happen.But yes, I never go to the source to learn about a product because when I get to the source I’m being sold… explicitly and obviously. There are ways to make that less subtle and therefore provide more value and hopefully kindle some time of loyalty or endearment from the user without throwing several “chat with a sales guy” windows at me.

          2. William Mougayar

            I agree. For content to be a bait, it has to be really really good. Not easy. Many startups do a fairly good job with their blog, but I’m not so sure that big brands can automatically emulate that. Maybe it’s via a series of micro-topical blogs.

          3. awaldstein

            Startups early on are the manifestation of the founder.The blogs are from a person or group connecting with people. Companies don’t write blogs, people do and people simply are not the company in most every case.Getting beyond that core behavioral truth is what just isn’t addressed.


            Just like having a ghost writer for a book. People can and do write blogs while acting as the company. The company decides the topic, the format, and the message. Then someone or a group of people come up with the full text.

          5. awaldstein

            Certainly but this is not a question of tactics or process. It’s one of voice and personality.I worked as a ghost writer for books and speeches for three years back a long while ago.It was easy cause I was a ghost writer for a person and I channeled his voice.What do you channel when you are the voice of a company but anonymous? Mostly its just noise.


            “What do you channel when…”Hold on for a minute while I light some candles and get out tie-dyed t-shirt. lolYou use a standard document development process and leave out the magic!

      2. btrautsc

        thanks awaldstein that was a great read. You are absolutely right that ‘marketers at large lack soul’ – is hyperbole – well called. There is definitely a dichotomy, or more likely, a great spectrum that exists from soulless to Motown…I struggle to recently think of a brand with better voice than Chubbies (http://www.chubbiesshorts.c… – where every piece of content, from social media, to payments, to the box have been meticulously focused on the target.personification of brands is incredibly interesting though – look forward to discussing further

        1. awaldstein

          Chubbles is new to me so checking it out. Thanks.Personification of brands is forever interesting, essential and ineffable all at once.

        2. ShanaC

          how do you personify a brand – and if you do, doesn’t mean accepting that much like yopu can dislike a person, you can dislike the brand

          1. btrautsc

            definitely… good question. back to the example of Chubbies – i love their branding & the attention to every detail… but the personification of their brand is the kind of guy that I would imagine people either love, or utterly despise. And I’m guessing those people aren’t buying Chubbies shorts (and are probably not in their target market).

    2. John

      So true. AVC is Fred using content marketing to its fullest. That’s not all it does, but it’s definitely an outcome.

      1. fredwilson


    3. William Mougayar

      Well said. Content marketing is now simplified, but it’s not all that simple yet. The larger the company, the harder it is for them to do it in a genuine manner.Having 1 author doing it altruistically is one thing, but orchestrating a whole bunch of them for a company site is a whole lot harder. The whole becomes as bad as its weakest link.The USV gang and several other VCs are lucky- they are all good writers. They can’t afford to not be, because it would be so obvious otherwise. They aren’t here to fill pages. They are here with a message and a mission.

      1. btrautsc

        ‘the whole becomes as bad as its weakest link’ – great point, definitely agree

        1. William Mougayar

          I have a feeling (and I know) that a lot of companies are going to botch up Content Marketing. Some will get it right. Others won’t, can’t.

          1. JamesHRH

            Content marketing does not scale well.

    4. Brandon Burns

      creating soul takes talent, and good talent doesn’t scale. this will be the chief problem with the move towards content as a form of marketing.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Intrigued by “creating soul takes talent” but what do you mean by “good talent doesn’t scale”?

        1. Brandon Burns

          You can’t create an infinite pool of talented people. Sure, you can educate and train more people to do a job, but it reaches a limit at some point.And with the specialty fields — writing, design, engineering, data analysis, etc. — you’re dealing with a skill set only a finite number of people are equipped to do. You can train almost anyone to be an excellent Starbucks barrista, whereas you’re lucky to find even a handful of people who will excel at great storytelling and content creation.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Thanks Brandon. Always interesting to watch the trends to see where the talent market is going. Makes me think that alongside the push for development of tech talent may a push is needed for developing good writers and good communicators in general. Perhaps even more so than ever when technology itself is making us more dependent on the written word. Of course it extends beyond this to other forms of communication.And technology itself has always created the need for translation and interpretation.

          2. ShanaC

            I think we have a problem – cultures used to be that where everyone told stories. We seemed to have displace that knowledge to specialists.

          3. Brandon Burns

            i wasn’t a caveman, but i’m willing to bet that, in each tribe. some hunted, some gathered, and some told stories. but not everyone told stories, as not everyone was good at it — i would assume.everyone may have the knowledge of certain stories, but not everyone has the skill to tell it in a captivating way.

          4. koz

            creativity and quality content doesn’t scale. Only so many people have that “star” in them. That knack for creating something authentically great.Teaching people to be clever doesn’t scale. I think as long as you have smart people you can teach them to do data analysis/engineering. 2 different things.

        2. leigh

          It’s likely in my best interest, but i think that great storytelling will never be a commodity. the question is more around platforms that take storytelling that has been traditionally understood somewhere else.

          1. William Mougayar

            I have become disillusioned with content marketing that looks too doctored.It’s very simple. Take your blog & write stuff that matters to your customers, prospects, partners, etc.Where you make a difference is in the quality, quantity and breadth of that content.If you write it well, they will come. If your website is clear and purposeful, they will stay and learn more.If your product resonates with their needs, they will contact you.

      2. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Therein lies the problem. Content is cheap and plentiful if quality is not an issue. Good – provocative – content is getting more and more difficult to find. Is why I so love Max Keiser of Keiser Report – whatever you may think of him and his partner, Stacy Herbert, they create compelling viewing and make people think/question – or at least ‘react’ and hopefully even, maybe, reflect a little; even if they disagree with it and scoff at their shock-jock style – content with chutzpah. Love it.Content needs more spunk.

        1. fredwilson

          spunk – created by smart punks

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Like it!

          2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            It is not only about spunk but also content should be written from the POV of the reader. Content needs to be focused on a core group rather than trying to write it for everyone. Mark Suster had a a related post about POV-marketing http://www.bothsidesoftheta

      3. shanesnow

        Not to toot our own horn too much, but this is exactly what Contently ( has set out to do. We’re mimicking the traditional newsroom model of working with journalists and editors in complete transparency, and we facilitate communication, deliverables, and payments. The idea is if we put experienced, vetted journalists and storytellers in a room together with brand publishers and provide them with tools to be successful, publishers can find talent that’s the best fit for their definition of quality. We attract talent at scale by providing free tools for journalists to build portfolios, then use the data to power our search and matching engine. Our pool of professionals from major publications is the largest of its kind. And it’s scaling wonderfully.

        1. fredwilson

          shane. our meeting a few weeks ago has been rattling around in my brain and was partly responsible for this post

          1. Scott Yates

            Fred and Shane, I just published my take on this here:… In short, you two are right and all those here who say there is nothing new are just wrong.

        2. Brandon Burns

          i know what you guys are up to. dan barrett is a buddy. :o)

        3. leigh

          Request a demo? @shanesnow you are killing me.

        4. Brandon Burns

          a note on scale: your business may scale efficiently, but your customers’ talent pool will not, at least not entirely.if one writer creates good, effective content for a brand, leading them to hire 100 writers to create more of it… those 100 writers lead to zero cost savings. another writer is another writer, and the salaries and fees just tack on. sure, they scale up, but not efficiently.also, watch out for when demand for your writers overcomes your supply. it will be a nice problem to have but, considering that i really don’t believe there are enough talented writers to go around to every brand, if you keep doing well you’re going to hit that problem at some point. you’ll probably want to figure out how brands can use as little of each writers time as possible, and how each writer can balance multiple projects without going insane.

        5. Brandon Burns

          i want to hire some contently writers for a client for which i’m doing some consulting work, but i’m not getting a response from anyone on your end. can you shoot me an email to bburns [at] vidal partnership [dot] com? thanks.

      4. ShanaC

        how much of talent is trainable – I still think we can train people to become more creative

      5. leigh

        Brand soulification! Let’s the buzzword bingo begin!

      6. JamesHRH

        Don’t you think that most companies lack soul – I was in the ‘tack some soul onto this’ side of business for a while….

        1. Richard

          The differentiator is original thought or the ability to express what others are thinking so that the reaction is a “nod”.

      7. Richard

        Content like creativity looks obvious ex post.

      8. John Pasmore

        Totally agree and was having same conversation last week about small businesses creating content. Sure a conversation can be “content” or a talking head video; the equivalent in print was the Q&A which required the least amount of writing talent.But when you have thousands of these pieces of “content” published weekly the consumer will still have limited time/attention so engagement (and discovery) will be tough. As per Syndrome, “When everyone’s super, no one is!”

    5. hypermark

      My experience from working with lots of brands on social media campaigns and community building initiatives is that one of the core challenges is that content and conversational marketing is a three legged stool, and many brands are only prepared for one of those legs.On one leg, there is the basic design and implementation, which everyone rallies around, and flows pretty naturally, as it’s something that can be codified in a spec with a budget and owners.On the second leg is the promotion, which is a NEVER ending exercise. My experience here is that a lot of brands peter out either for budgetary or enthusiasm reasons.On the third leg is the creation of content, and again, this is a NEVER ending exercise. Still more brands lose energy at this stage, which is why so many of these campaigns look great in 1.0, but fizzle in 2.0 and beyond.Needless to say, this rewards efforts that are more focused on atomicity, like tweets, as well as efforts that curate the community versus creating original content.Those caveats aside, I am a HUGE believer in the domain.

    6. Matt A. Myers

      They are teaching. There is value. Good teachers tell stories. Good teachers have experience, and therefore stories to tell.

    7. Luke Chamberlin

      Also many companies will never be good at it because they have products and business models with no soul. The change required is much larger than hiring a new marketing person, they have to change their business.

    8. fredwilson

      i am glad you think i have soul.

    9. ShanaC

      I don’t think marketers lack soul as much as marketers are forced by political and legal restraint to not have a soul.

      1. koz

        It’s a liability to bare your soul. What if you say or do something offensive? Unless a brand has a strong identity they will always be afraid.

    10. JamesHRH

      Somewhere along the line, the PR industry lost control of this issue. This is exactly what they did in the 3P media days.Ironic.

      1. William Mougayar

        You mean B2B magazines?

        1. JamesHRH

          I mean everything – PR agencies wrote a lot of copy for media outlets.

    11. Richard

      Speaking with an authentic voice seems to principal component.

    12. tannerc

      “Soul.” I’ve never heard it put that way before, but it feels dead-on.What many companies *try* to do is approach any type of content as old-fashioned advertising. A tweet isn’t meant to be a press release, it’s meant to be communication (above all, though there are certainly exceptions). The best conversations all have this “soul” you speak of, something more than a superficial poke to engage.

  6. William Mougayar

    The problem and the opportunity are together in this statement:”Everyone is a publisher now.”

    1. CJ

      Curation is still key. Eventually Newspapers and Magazines will realize that the value they bring isn’t in advertising but in information curation.

      1. William Mougayar

        “Publish the best, and curate the rest.” Someone said that…

      2. btrautsc

        that was part of their strategy long ago, their curation method was simply hiring the best journalists and limiting the scope of what they wrote about… technology made it a two way conversation…

      3. Cam MacRae

        Speaking of curation, have you seen I’m finding it indispensable.

      4. ShanaC

        I’m still a full beleiver in premium content – the kind that can only be done in a magazine or premium newspaper

    2. Brandon Burns

      The problems abound. The biggest one I see is in scarcity of talent. Stringing together a coherent sentence, let alone many of them, isn’t exactly a universal skill. And the people who do it well will start to see their art commoditized and their value plummet. Super unsettling to me.

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      And everyone is a curator 😉

      1. William Mougayar

        Yes! Esp. on Kuratur.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          <3 – or as Fake Grimlock said to me, “Me eat threes at you.”

  7. john ratcliffe-lee

    economics aside, the tech & platforms are allowing brands to have a voice & easily share their opinion. less the connection to existing editorial, it’s about people sitting around a table and saying, “we can do this and here’s the story we want to tell.”yes, it can ladder up to a higher marketing meaning but what you’re doing – from a brand POV – is actually expressing something. caring, nurturing, explaining & relating. sometimes, a more effective stance is wanting to be a partner with your customer throughout their life vs. always trying to suck the life out of them. what matters more?

  8. Richie Siegel

    My question is that as a consumer, when I see the words “sponsored content” I never click. I treat them like Facebook ads on the side; never clicked. So I agree with the opportunity for pubs and advertisers, but as a consumer I’m not inclined to participate. Or maybe nothing has changed and no one is ever inclined to participate in advertising.

    1. William Mougayar

      You are participating here. AVC is an excellent example of Content Marketing at work. You are here reading what Fred has written because it’s quality stuff, then you realize Oh, he’s a VC and he’s this and that, etc.People will be drawn to quality content, where it resides on company pages or a mom’s Tumblr account or a student’s first blog or anyone sharing anything they know.Content marketing done badly will backfire of course.Yes, content marketing is a simplified view of marketing, but that’s not as simple as that. Simplified yes. Simple, no.

      1. Richie Siegel

        Yea you’re right. But I think you can push your argument to say that everyone is a content marketer—at a minimum they are marketing themselves. But I don’t perceive Fred as one, and perception matters a lot here.

        1. William Mougayar

          Ah…nail on the head.That’s the best sign that it’s working wonderfully well. It feels like content, and you don’t feel the marketing. But the net result is that Fred’s brand benefits. Same analogy for companies. If done well, you don’t feel you’re being marketed to, and you come back for more.

          1. Richie Siegel

            Agreed. But I don’t think I will ever think of Coke in the same mind as Fred, in terms of authenticity or even brand value.

          2. William Mougayar

            Well, you have to start with some brand trust. I don’t trust anything from a junk food producer.

      2. JLM

        .In any action, there are a multitude of reasons and justifications. Not just one and rarely one that dwarfs all others.I see this location — even when you think of it as Fred’s place — to be a community in which it is the community as much as the sponsor that drives engagement.The ultimate content is customer driven and supplied content and that is where Fred Wilson — and you — have gotten this salon.Fred throws in the red meat and the Lions and Tigers wrestle for a piece of the action. It is the action which is the action.JLM.

        1. William Mougayar

          Good point on the community part. Maybe it is then Community Marketing, not just content marketing.

        2. Bernard Desarnauts

          Totally agree, especially as you’re using the key word of “engagement”.Fred has created a real “venue” here where he engages all of us around topics that are also relevant to both his personal and his business brands. Yes these two are increasingly connected and intertwined Fred as AVC and Fred as Partner of USV but are still somewhat different.Ultimately what digital is allowing is the fostering of a lot more “personal” brands like Fred’s. Fred’s approach can indeed be labelled “content-marketing” as his/this community blog seems to be designed to be great “conversation” place where content is king.Fred’s posts are rarely dogmatic and always solicit input/feedback – making them richer, yet Fred has very infrequent “guest” posts here – so “tightly” moderating/directing the conversation. Most importantly Fred has mastered community building by showing true consistent engagement himself and investing his time to grow/nurture/cultivate his audience one member at a time, one piece of content at a time.

        3. fredwilson

          yup. like lebron vs melo. which i am not getting to see live because i am on a plane flying home tonight

          1. JLM

            .This is the business you have chosen, Michael Corleone.You’re not just now getting back from skiing, are you?If so, you’re worse than me. I am trying to fit in one last gasp week of skiing before tax day.JLM.

          2. fredwilson

            sadly, i put my skis away for the year last wednesday and got back to work

          3. William Mougayar

            What a show Melo put on. 50 pts & 7 3-pointers. I predict it will be Knicks vs. Thunder on the finals.

          4. fredwilson

            i don’t think so. Lebron and Dwayne sat out last night’s game.if the Heat don’t win it all this year I will be surprisedand as good as the Thunder are, there are at least four teams in the west that can take them in a seven game series

          5. William Mougayar

            I was being wishful 🙂

          6. fredwilson

            it would be awesomeThunder Knicks on Sunday 1pm eastern on national TVin OKC. will be a hard one for the Knicks if KD and Westbrook play, which I expect they will

      3. awaldstein

        Agree and nicely said.Content marketing done badly just does nothing though. Being ignored is failing, being responded to even in dispute can arguably be a success.

  9. John Revay

    Waiting for Arnold’s read on this….

  10. Barry Nolan

    There are downsides to this content orgy. So much seems to be focused on gaming google, looking for a like. It’s especially pronounced when outsourced – you end up with mountains of mediorce, lots of noise, so much for signal.Marketers especially cannot help themselves. They risk turning themselves into entertainment companies, losing true values. A true content strategy shares relevant information with consumers to help them improve their day, simplifying their way.Focus on value not volume; as with the excellent marktoonist weekly insights.

  11. Emil Sotirov

    Marketing purposed content – no matter how good – eventually loses its audience. That’s why I still believe in the old school ad/content separation/combination. It is naturally transparent and honest… like a dish with a side.To be effective and affective, any form of content (ads included) should communicate the integrity of its intentions and motivations. We would achieve the content marketing nirvana when writers start writing poems about Coca Cola.

  12. Ma

    I know a lot of bright marketing gurus sell very value content for free, engage the customer in conversation and upsell many of the product and sell for millions of dollars by giving tens of hundreds of millions of dollar is precived value. Old way of bureaucratic bossy way wont work in the age of social media.

  13. John

    This is definitely a trend that’s happening across every industry. Although, I think many of the smaller B2B companies find this really challenging since it’s not easy to build an audience through content marketing on your own blog or other social media. It’s not part of their culture and when there aren’t instant results they cut the funding.A related trend is many brands paying for content marketing on influential websites. They realize that a blog post on their blog builds something good, but they can even get more value by having that same topic addressed on an influential blog with their name attached.In PR they’re calling it Earned, Paid, and Owned. Some of the paid can get pretty sticky, but when done right it can provide tremendous value to the brand while actually increasing the influence of the influencer.Full Disclosure: I’ve created http://www.InfluentialNetwo… to do this in the healthcare IT space.

  14. Elie Seidman

    Content marketing has been incredibly impactful for Oyster. Because of it, we receive national TV attention that competitors in the space – with 10,000x the marketing budget (not a typo) – are unable to get.Our photo fakeouts have proven to be one of the best pieces of content marketing – and longest lasting – I’ve seen.

    1. fhhindc

      Hey, Elie, hadn’t heard of ya’ll. Interesting!

    2. JLM

      .Damn, that is very impressive. It is all in the framing and composition.Well played!JLM.

      1. Elie Seidman


  15. ralphchu

    Totally agreed. We are an early stage NY startup building a mobile app rooted in contextual advertising. The product is not launched yet but you may find our approach is very unique.

  16. Rebecca Bridge

    The shift has definitely been going on within the world of SEO. I think “content marketing” started off as a buzzword, but it’s now looking more and more like the future of the industry. Many of our clients are finally understanding that content isn’t just about linkbuilding, but rather it’s about building authority and carving out a section of the internet for their brands. I wrote a bit about it, what us content marketers need to think about going forward, at my company’s blog:

  17. Carlos N Velez/Lacerta Bio

    Creating good content is one thing. Getting that good content in front of your target audience is another matter!

  18. raycote

    Brand curated content, isn’t that a little like processed food, likely to be very thin on nutritional value.

  19. adbomaha

    I run one of those third party firms that create content for businesses. What we find is that everyone has the desire to build a library, but as bloggers know, it’s hard work doing it every day. It works only if you do it on those days when you don’t feel like it. If you do it every day, and your content is decent, Google will find you and an audience will find you. The disappointing stuff is when people start and stop. Nothing looks worse than a blog that has 10 posts in two weeks and then three months of silence. Hubspot has great data that shows that consistency and rigor make all the difference.

    1. Philip Brown

      I totally agree. I really like the SEOMoz blog too. I think Rand has done an amazing job building his personal brand, in particular his White Board Friday video posts are fantastic!

      1. adbomaha

        Rand owns his corner of the Internet, and the videos are distinctive. Distinctiveness is everything– if you are the only one who does what you do, and it’s relevant to your customers, you can build a very strong brand.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      This is good to know. We’ve witnessed the value of consistency here at AVC but this is the first time I have heard about the downside of inconsistency. Does consistent = daily?

      1. adbomaha

        Daily is optimal, but as long as you meet expectations, whether twice a week or twice a day, you can build an audience. The data shows that the more you blog, the more traffic your entire site gets. People who blog every day drive a ton of traffic to their sites–

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Thanks, Adrian.

    3. fredwilson

      i am proof of that. i didn’t feel like it today. got in to my hotel after a late flight and woke up for a 6am board meeting. then after the meeting ended i stared at my computer screen for thirty minutes. i pulled this one out of me. i do that many days. writing every day is a chore but the result is awesome.

    4. ShanaC

      happens all the time. It takes a ton of time to do right-which is why content development in distributed groups is so much easier

  20. Zach Stevens

    I work for marketing for a startup company and am often approached by vendors who try to sell us content marketing, both creating the content and publishing it. The problem is, their web property looks like a first grader could build it, and the content that they create for the companies they work with is subpar.I’ve had better success working with a PR agency to write engaging content, like a white paper, and work to have that published in an industry rag or online to twitter etc, rather than paying content marketers to do it.



  21. Jeff Pundyk

    It’s important not to conflate content marketing (brands as publishers) with native advertising (promoting branded content thru publishing or third-party social environments). They are closely related, but each presents its own opportunities and challenges (especially to publishers). Both, I think, are here to stay and set the stage for building deep relationships. But, only if brands raise their content game significantly, as I wrote recently on (Don’t Be Just Another Brand With A Blog.… )Still, my most recent piece on encourages brands to have at it: That Criticism You Hear Means You’re On To Something

  22. Nik Bonaddio

    Not directly related, but a corollary in regards to content marketing:I’ve had very good results using companies like Outbrain to amplify the audience for our content. Of course, it helps very much if that content has a natural revenue derivative to it, particularly if it’s something more lucrative than display ads.Our best experiment was actually two weeks back, for March Madness. We wrote a bunch of very analytic breakdowns of the different regions, which provided us a very, very high click-through rate due to the time-sensitivity and uniqueness of the content. That CTR was followed up with a natural recurring subscription upsell, which monetizes stronger than display advertising. The economics of it were very simple: pay $0.03 per click, get $0.17 ARPU in return, based on the average life of the subscription and the average conversion rate.It was win-win-win: get a lower CPC, because of the high CTR. We could pay $0.03 because we were getting 5x more clicks than the article paying $0.15. More clicks, more people at the top of the funnel, higher ARPU at the end.

    1. fredwilson

      and then there are my personalized pre game knicks stats nuggets. they are so awesome

  23. Semil Shah

    There are some companies in this space you may want to check out:1. Linqia – sponsored stories on individual blogs (think: disqus-level conversation in the meat of the post).2. Scripted – online marketplace for qualified writers.3. Bloomreach – just raised big Series B based on revenue growth, creates personalized content algorithmically.

    1. Donna Brewington White


    2. William Mougayar

      Add , content mktg + social, similar to Linquia. They raised 10 mil today.I like what Bloomreach is doing. Not so sure about the others.

  24. Brandon Burns

    This post outlines what brands with good stories to tell will do.Unfortunately, not every brand has a good story.When the meh brands create content around their meh stories, the content won’t spread, rendering the new marketing effort useless, and the brand will seek to piggy back their product onto another entity with more caché and credibility. They will probably do this in some sort of banner ad-esque object (in theory, if not execution) that they can purchase in bulk and be done with. Advertising as we know it and as it has been for centuries — brand paying media outlet to distribute a message to their audience — will not die. Even the brands creating content will rely on media partners to distribute it; just look at startups like Outbrain who are growing rapidly servicing this market.But I’m very excited to see brands start to explore the story they have to tell, and start making compelling content around it. The Weather Channel ( is a great example; a quick look on their homepage illustrates the difference becoming a content engine makes. I’m also excited to see startups like Contently ( help brands tell those stories.Banners, or something similar, will probably always be here — but I’m excited to see less of them, for sure.

    1. fredwilson


    2. JamesHRH

      Banners will be there because they add value – repetitive top of mind awareness.It turns out that the entire world is not fully engaged & intentional every second of their lives.

  25. Philip Brown

    I love it when people like you Fred, write things like this. I’m an engineer not based in a tech city so I know that I need to build my personal brand in order for opportunities to find me. I’ve written 250+ articles on business, technology and the Internet on my website (sorry for the plug).I think the very best businesses understand the need to earn loyalty through a relationship through content. I love Ben Lerer’s take on it when he says “his guy” will often become so known of the Thrillist brand through the content, that they actively seek out JackThreads rather than competitors. I really feel that content marketing is crucial for the future of defensible brands now that media is becoming fragmented and people are finding their tribes online.But I also don’t think it’s not just about companies, I really believe that the best individuals will be writing content in exactly the same way Fred, Brad Feld or Mark Suster have been doing for years. It not only proves your opinion, but it also improves your ability and makes you a clearer thinker and communicator.

  26. Andrew Montalenti

    The era of blurred lines: brands becoming publishers (AMEX, GE), content becoming advertising (Buzzfeed/Forbes sponsored posts).The number one problem that a content marketer has is getting that initial “seed” traffic.No one clicks on display ads, but CTRs for content ads (“paid promotion”) are healthy. Your portfolio company Disqus realized this in an important way with its latest move into promoted content. I agree that it makes total sense: engaging editorial content seeded with paid clicks can pay dividends beyond those initial clicks in a way display advertising simply cannot.Another interesting accelerator for content marketing may be that, with third-party cookies becoming widely blocked in browsers, the only display advertising technique with decent CTRs (retargeting) will become less and less effective. Will content marketing fill that gap?

    1. Bruce Warila

      “The number one problem that a content marketer has is getting that initial “seed” traffic.” You nailed it.

    2. William Mougayar

      Yup, you need to marry SEO with content marketing in order to reach Search Visibility. Otherwise, it’s like blowing in the wind. Your content will get lost.

    3. ShanaC

      meh – third party cookies are being partially blocked by browsers with low market share

      1. Andrew Montalenti

        Firefox is going to start blocking 3rd-party cookies soon (June 25):…Firefox and Safari (the two browsers blocking them by default) comprise about 35% of the browser market share. Notably, Safari is nearly 100% of the market share of iPhone and iPad users.

  27. Philip Brown

    I totally agree with you Fred, but it’s not just about companies, I think a lot of the best individuals will also gain recognition through their content marketing.I’m an engineer from a city outside of the major tech hubs in Europe, so I know I need to develop my own personal brand if I want opportunities to find me. I also think it’s really important when launching your own products. It’s much easier to launch something as an individual if you already have a blog that is read by thousands of engaged and qualified potential users.I think Buffer’s early strategy really shows the power of content marketing. And I like what Ben Lerer has done at Thrillist.As media becomes more and more fragmented and more people move online and find their own tribe, I think content marketing is going to become even more crucial to building a defensible online brand.

    1. fredwilson

      i know who you are. you are doing a good job building your brand

      1. Philip Brown

        Thank you Fred, that’s huge for me!I guess part of the problem with content marketing is it’s often difficult to get true validation. It seems that a lot of people give up before they ever get to the good stage.



  28. Greg Gortz

    I’m certainly biased, but I believe this is a natural progression for advertisers on the web. Content marketing is a way for brands/advertisers to provide value and information to the end user who consumes the content. Which is a way for brands and advertisers to make a meaningful connection with potential clients. Compared to a banner ad that offers nothing to the end user who clicks. I realize that banner ads have value from a branding standpoint – but I think end users are tuning banners out more and more. Content marketing is even more important as we move to the mobile web. Mobile real estate is low and banners will struggle to find a place – they get in the way. Whereas content marketing on mobile is much more native – it does not interrupt my mobile experience.



      1. Greg Gortz

        Its doesnt. Consumers are smart. They have plenty of options. Making them feel good about your company is tough to do w banners. Content can fill the gap.

  29. Bruce Warila

    Over the last 3-4 years, we put together blogs to speak to the constituents in several industries ( for music & for display technology).A few observations: it’s inexpensive, any company can do it, and it works; it’s easier to do it with partners and even friendly competitors than to do it standalone; you need to have patience, as it can take a year or two to get it right and to ramp things up.Blog and industry news content is OK, but the barrier is too low (every competitor will do it). We are now looking at making large proprietary databases available for searching and comparing (in addition).The biggest challenge: if you have created something native (blog post, video, audio, slideshow, app, database, etc) is motivating experts and influencers that already have audiences to promote your native offering. You can easily find influencers, you can measure the results of influence, but trying getting an influencer to punt your cookbook…

  30. karen_e

    I am honestly bewildered when I read anything that suggests content marketing is “new” in any way, shape or form. It is as it has always been. // Help me and you will win my business. Teach me something new or valuable and I will return for more. I am getting this for free, imagine what I’ll get when I pay you! Show me through your images, design, and writing that you share values with me, and I will want to forge a bond with you, too. // You, nascent leader, can you listen, do you read, can you write? Can you rewrite to improve upon your first draft? Can you tell stories to your people? And then to a wider audience? Nascent leader, if you are weak in strategy or communication, be sure to hire a first-rate marketer!

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      +1 What’s new is this medium that allows more players into the field.We used to call it “article marketing.”



        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          But do they have a Modilock? I do! (Or, I will, anyway.)

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


    2. kidmercury


    3. JLM

      .Well said, well played.Everything is the story and the way the story makes you feel. And if the feeling makes you want more.Then you get to customer driven content. The power of the testimonial.Well played.JLM.

      1. FlavioGomes

        Customer driven content…the pinnacle of marketing.

        1. JamesHRH

          huckster driven horseshit……the pinnacle of labelling.Content marketing equals talk to your customer.

          1. FlavioGomes

            I think you are missing the point in the context above, but generally agree with your perspective. Perhaps Customer Generated Content about brand is a better way to define it.Testimonials (video testimonials the best), community dialogue, the cultivation of an army of unpaid evangelists, some even have the prestige of title…”apple fan boys” first comes to mind.

    4. William Mougayar

      Good point. The content marketing marketers have done a good job branding that moniker as the next best thing in marketing. But it is not the only thing about marketing. So much more out there:

    5. Brandon Burns

      many things the startup community talk about as “new” are not new.the gap did vertically integrated retail long before warby parker, book clubs sold monthly subscriptions long before birchbox, newspapers aggregated coupons long before groupon, etc.when startup people say new, they mean new to the startup scene. or at least i hope so, otherwise everyone is naive and/or delusional.



        1. JamesHRH

          +1 – been that person.

      2. ShanaC

        A lot of generation y never interacted with those things as they were described. They are new to younger members of the cohort

        1. Brandon Burns

          they should take a history class. 🙂



      1. FlavioGomes

        Old wine…new bottle.

      2. laurie kalmanson

        Deja vu all over again

      3. William Mougayar

        Word. Or as yogi said – it’s déjà vu, all over again.

    7. JamesHRH

      groovy new name.I no longer point out that everything everyone writes about marketing is derivative of the seminal works on the topic – this includes the revered Prof C from HBS.As long as there are people who need to tell the world the new thing they have discovered, there will be new versions of old things.

  31. pointsnfigures

    If no one has said it, Rebelmouse looks like a better content marketing play than anything else. Also, the National World War Two Museum runs a blog on called Greatest Generation. It’s excellent. Tumblr has been a good place to exchange information and get visibility.

    1. fredwilson


  32. DylanShae

    Content marketing often leads to the most interaction rates upon the page and user, which then leads to more influence and shared information between the two. We’re outside of the age of personal identifying slogans and more into, “What kind of content will make people hit that share button?”I write about a social experiment that I did that highlights the importance of why we (businesses and personal) need to be more influential as users of social media; titled “Since you’re my friend, would you help me move?”…

  33. Kirsten Lambertsen

    There’s too much to say on this topic. I’ll just say, Seth Godin.

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Cow. Purple.Says it all. Genius.

  34. Pawel Chudzinski

    and VCs do it too! 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      right here!

  35. Carl Rahn Griffith

    “Publish and be damned!” ~ Duke of Wellington.

    1. Cam MacRae

      “Publish or perish” ~ Harold Jefferson Coolidge

  36. Steven Kane

    hey fred. i’m a little confused as to how this is different. ad banners are never an end unto themselves; they are just a way to try to drive traffic to a web site or app — an attempt to find, in your words, “the most efficient form of advertising, pay per click advertising, to drive traffic to these pages and then engage in a conversation with their customers and potential customers.”what am i missing?also, as for content marketing, well, plus ca change — isnt this precisely what the big CPG companies did in the 1950s when they invented soap operas? why do we call them “soap operas” anyway? 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      you are so right about the soap opera thing. the difference is you don’t need banners to generate clicks. in fact i think they are terrible at generating clicks



        1. JamesHRH

          this is out of reach for most people and companies…..too hard.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  37. Guest

    No love for Contently, eh Fred? 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      i do like them very much and a recent meeting with them provided some of the inspiration for this post. but this blog is content marketing and my products are our portfolio companies.


        ABS !!!

  38. Luke Chamberlin

    Really curious which brands are taking advantage of SoundCloud?

    1. fredwilson

      here is one…

  39. jonathanmendez

    Clicks are the web’s native advertising. Not any of that other shit. Rock and roll Fred.

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, that’s one of the many things i don’t like about native apps on mobile. the click is the thing.

  40. Wells Baum

    Content is king. Brands are content providers. Captivating content, storytelling, is what keeps the fans coming back.

    1. awaldstein

      Content is noise on its own no matter how clever. Context is what give content meaning. That’s why curation without self awareness is just robotics and tactics.Funny, finding old posts on every one these points today:Context not content is king

      1. Wells Baum

        There’s no context without content. Content starts the conversation. Context just makes it more relevant.Context is also not strongly supported by FB and Twitter. Pinterest is good at this because you don’t have to subscribe to all posts but can subscribe to only the boards you want.Right now, context is on the user’s end.

        1. awaldstein

          True about FB and Twitter as contextless realities although they strive towards it in different ways. FB groups can be an exception although community and conversational mechanics are insanely bad.I would argue though that as a market maker, context is where you start not the other way around. You don’t mold content, you understand value and interest to your customers or community then you engage.Context is always around the consumer. They are the center of the world.

          1. Wells Baum

            And to do that you need content. The content is the marketing. Context is just knowing a little bit more about someone and following up to offer them a personalized experience. Still think content is the fish bait and context is the tailoring.

          2. awaldstein

            Each to their own.Lot’s of different ways toward success. Everyone should choose the one that works for them.

          3. FlavioGomes

            Context is barometric pressure suggesting the use of content..whether its a topwater, jig and pig or jerk bait.

          4. Wells Baum

            No content, no context.

          5. FlavioGomes

            Context is absolutely crucial Arnold. You are bang on. Framing the context is the most important step to cultivating content.That said, allowing the community to stretch and test that context and potentially augment your context theories, with proactive and at times provocative “thought” seeds…can lead to rewarding outcomes.

          6. awaldstein

            Agree…If anyone believes it is the dynamics of the community that evolved context and value, it is me.For my clients to understand this I have them look at community managers/leaders and how that leads to people extending their conversational footprint. And how when too rigid it stymies and squashes conversations and exploration of interests and ideas.

  41. Colin Lamont

    I think you hit it on the head with how content is the essentially the new ad unit to tease the conversation and open up engagement. One of the difficult parts of the content process, however, is creating unique content in the voice of your brand. After many months of user testing with Brands and Agencies, one thing that we have found to work is to empower the new role of ‘content manager’ to access knowledgeable subject matter experts in non-invasive manner through direct email response Q&A. The journalistic process of asking questions tends to unlock insights, expertise, and knowledge that can be used for longer-form content.



  42. KKay

    Interesting ideas — that make all too much sense. Having studied, trained and worked toward the idea of being a copywriter — I think you’re right, the playing field may be changing all together. Look at mobile websites vs desktop. Twitter — quick reads. But the marketing training prob’ly still will stand. Many CWs wrote catalog copy. Engaging is key! ‘soulful’ — you won’t be able to fake it. People know when it’s good & worth while.



    1. laurie kalmanson

      Exactly the opposite of spam

  44. Patrick Burns

    Content marketing (even more) simplified: every company is a media company.

  45. ShanaC

    The fact is that ads themselves are a kind of content. We interact with them as content – even if they aren’t built that way.I think the market is going to go there, since cotent marketing on a platform by platform basis will not scale

  46. Bhishm Singh

    We ( – Content Marketing company) also carry the same opinion.Content marketing is new era of marketing, its effective and impacts for long term.



  48. Dan Martell

    Fred, totally agree.It’s actually something I feel @nireyal has articulated best – called “Curated Web”….It’s more than just content, but how you let your users interact with it (and your app) to help them create habits that increase retention.That’s the game changer.If you’re only focused on “Inbound Marketing” then you’ll miss the real impactful tactics.

  49. Gabriel Gervelis

    My research tells me (eMarketer) that the digital ad market place is going to increase to 62 Billion (up 32 Billion) by 2016. Thats a lot of ad dollars going to Digital. Content Marketing is prime to capitalize on this.

  50. Ciaran

    The problem with this is the idea that you can always use PPC advertising. PPC tends to work better (not only, but better) at the poijty end of the funnell. And that means that if you rely on that, and give up on more ‘traditional’ forms of advertising, you probably miss out on potential customers.And, if you want to have the best of both worlds, it’s often more efficient, and just better, to use those budgets to get professionals to create that content and to adverise. In other words, to update the sort of old fashioned sort of content marketing you dismiss in the first paraghraph.

  51. tomasvdb

    The first rule of content marketing should be: if you have nothing meaningful to say, shut up.I work in the online marketing industry and let’s face it, the engagement, soul and usefulness that are being mentioned on this page is absent from 95% of what passes as content marketing. It’s the internet’s white noise. It’s not even a novelty, it’s just that it’s the freshly branded flavour of the month after FB, twitter, pinterest, etc.. marketing. Smart companies have been doing this for decades, since it makes sense, regardless of the channel used.Apologies for sounding so cynical, will happily be proved wrong…

  52. Monika Reed

    Like they don’t have a heart to what they are doing. Mediocre.