The Digital Marketing Stack: Content


This series was originally written by Ian Lurie in 2015 and updated by Chad Kearns in 2020.

In Part 3, I talked about analytics. In this post, I’ll finally talk about content. This is content, by the way.

Part 1: The Digital Marketing Stack
Part 2: Infrastructure
Part 3: Analytics
Part 4: Content ← You are here
Part 5: The Channels – Paid, Earned and Owned

Content. It’s kind of important.

No content, no marketing.

Infrastructure delivers your content. Your analytics set up tells you how it’s resonating. And the channels are how you get your content out for consumption.

That puts content squarely in the middle of the Stack and as an essential element in all things marketing.

What Is Content?

Content is way more than the blog posts you write.

Any interaction that a person has with your brand contains some type of content.

Content is included in any information consumed by your audience. Think about all the interaction points some could have with your brand. All of those points contain content.

  • Ad copy
  • Social media posts and interactions
  • Product descriptions
  • Billboards
  • Videos
  • Podcasts or news features
  • Email
  • Blog posts (yes, those too)
  • Customer support responses

Every time someone is prompted to think about your brand, there is a source of content to trigger that interaction.

Where Content Lives

Here’s a hint: Everywhere.

Some of this content lives on your site. A lot of it lives off your site.

Either way, cohesion across content sources and mediums should be what you’re aiming for.

When thinking about content, planning a strategy, or running a campaign, think about every place where your content could show up—it’s not just your site.

About Content Strategy

Content strategy is critical.

It’s not a calendar. It’s a long-term guide to creation and production. When executed correctly, driving an effective content strategy builds brand followers at every stage of the marketing funnel.

Effective content marketing will take a long time to bear fruit. Sure, you can hit on a “viral” piece of content and see a nice spike in sales, visitors, notoriety, etc. but that spike will probably be short-lived. Your approach to content marketing should be a gradual build-up. Building authority in a particular space takes time and resilience to stay at it, but when built effectively, it will become your most powerful marketing asset.

In Marketing, Content Only Matters If It Helps

The content you produce has to help the business by growing your audience, selling stuff, or otherwise accelerating the organization towards its goals.

That means:

  • You have to publish it
  • It has to have a reason for existence
  • It has to be good
  • You can’t just pound your audience with stupid sales pitches

Go forth. Create content. Just make sure it doesn’t suck.

Note: Read a bit more about content and compare it to other parts of the Stack in our Marketing Stack Explorer.

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