What Does the Term "Content Marketing" Mean to You?

What Does the Term "Content Marketing" Mean to You?
I’m really curious.
Without Googling the definition, when you hear the term “content marketing”, what does it make you think about? How would you describe it in your own words?

What feeling do you get from the term?

I ask because words are important. And in today’s communications, where words are becoming less frequent (think: Twitter, texting, infographics, video…) every single word carries more weight than it used to. Every word needs to be clear. Every phrase needs to convey the right feeling.
In a recent PNR This Old Marketing podcast, created by Content Marketing Institute, hosts Joe Pulizzi and Robert Rose talk a lot about the term content marketing. The conversation is prompted by the adoption of the term by two associations, one in Germany and one in Asia. In the past, the practice was most often referred to as “corporate publishing” in Germany. Joe also mentions that it was called “customer media” in the U.K.
Here in the U.S., the term is different-but-the-same/often interchangeable with other terms, such as “inbound marketing”, “brand journalism”, “branded content”, “corporate storytelling”, “native advertising” (a bigger stretch), and more.
Being from the Content Marketing Institute, of course Joe and Robert are pleased that “content marketing” continues to make strides. They feel it’s a significant moment, and it means we are one step closer to defining this type of marketing and storytelling. And if we can define it, we can better promote its value and significance to brands and clients.
But all of that rationale aside, I’m honestly very interested in what the term means to you. I want to know not only how you would define content marketing, but also what tone and feeling the phrase has for you.
So I’ll give you a minute to think about it. And, if you are in a share-y mode, I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Ok, go on….
Here at Cursive Content Marketing, we obviously feel comfortable with the term, and we’ve defined it many, many times. But definition aside, I personally like that the term highlights the word “content”.

With content marketing, the story is central to the practice.

Other options, such as inbound marketing, feel more tactic driven rather than story driven. And I like stories.
To me, the phrase is soft yet structured. It’s personal yet business. It’s smart, not sales-y.
When I talk about content marketing to people who might not have the same reaction to the term that I do, I try to keep it simple. I say:

Content marketing is creating and sharing stories your audience will love.

And that usually clicks. It brings the emotion to the business. It removes the tactics and focuses on the story. It highlights the audience.
As a storyteller, what can be better than that?
Here’s your second chance — what do you think about the term “content marketing”? Is it meaningful to you … or are we treading into jargon territory? Share your thoughts below!

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