Content marketing is a hype!


Content marketing is a hype!

March 18, 2013 Future of Marketing In English 11

OMG. Preparing for a workshop today I realized that content marketing is a total hype! It just doesn’t exist.

I was preparing for an upcoming workshop session about many things, one of them being “the most important thing companies should do in their marketing” – content marketing.

For my backgrounder part I wanted to get a non-hyped version of the definition of content marketing. Preferably an academic one. Those are often more digestable for people who need to learn and understand.

On with the Google, worlds fastest reference book. Content marketing, Only marketing pages. “Content marketing”. The same thing. “content marketing” definition. No. “content marketing” academic definition. Lists of marketers quoting other marketers selling their thing.

I couldn’t find a single academic source with the definition of content marketing!

So, I’m drawing conclusions: Content marketing must be a hype created by marketers who needed to differentiate themselves and came up with a new, fuzzy category (see brand strategies) that people could relate to. And the rest of the world followed.

Other alternative is that the whole thing appeared so fast that no academic had time to research or analyze the phenomenon. Which I doubt, since people like David Ogilvy was quoted in some of the posts.

Now. Please, please tell me I’m wrong. I would like nothing more than to get a proof that I’m totally wrong.

I just want the academic definition for content marketing.



11 Responses

  1. The term “content marketing” is indeed created by marketers in the recent years.

    The concept itself is of course nothing new. You might be able to find some academic studies about the free Jello cookbooks or Michelin guides from 100 years ago, which were basically content marketing. Only ten years ago it was called just marketing, though 🙂

  2. I think the label was used to push back against all the black hat SEO type marketers. I’m not opposed to the label Content marketing per se. But you’re right in that it’s a label that has only recently been “invented”

  3. So, no #academic #research on #contentmarketing? Ping in the academia, please!

  4. Juho Tunkelo says:

    Well.. maybe it’s because the thing is so decidedly un-academic and messy in itself. It’s the process of opening your internals, your very guts to the world in the hopes that people will not only not judge said internals, but want to examine them with you and possibly, down the line, become interested in whatever you may be selling also. Academia is always following what happens ‘out there’ so you might be in for a little wait still for a definition… By that time, most people have moved on. 😉

  5. There however are some hits when you search with Google Scholar, e.g. this: . Not too many though, as you say!

  6. My academic friends said it is so new thing that there is now academic research about it. And it’s more kind of practical things…

  7. Search for content marketing has been amazing. Plenty of comments and discussion on several platforms! Thanks so much. I’ll try to put this all together as another posting and take the discussion to the next level, whatever it could be…

  8. Didn’t bother to search in detail, but looks like the folks saying “too new for academic research” (at least in the contemporary sense) are right. I’d say the minimum is to upload enough information online to enable being found by search engines. (Kowtow to Google.)

  9. […] a concrete definition. Not necessarily an academic reference as highlighted when trying to define content marketing but one that is commonly and easily […]

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