Explaining content marketing to your colleagues, especially those outside sales and marketing reminds me of the old fable about the blind men and the elephant.
According to Wikipedia, " Each blind man feels a different part of the elephant's body, but only one part, such as the side or the tusk. They then describe the elephant based on their limited experience and their descriptions of the elephant are different from each other. In some versions, they come to suspect that the other person is dishonest and they come to blows."
Replace the elephant with the digital marketing funnel and you end up with something similar. Different people 'feel' different content: your Instagram account; your blog; your email, or your web copy-writing strategy. Confusion reigns. Hardly surprising when content touches so many different parts of the business and is exposed to so many different audiences.
Which means it's more important than ever that Content Marketers describe the big picture. The (content) marketing funnel is the best place to start. As this article explains, it shows the role played by different channels and formats from audience awareness, all the way down to action and loyalty.
I also love the way that it describes the different KPIs that you should measure at every level. That makes it especially useful when explaining the purpose and performance of content in the digital marketing mix. Have a read - and don't be shy about sharing. It's a great article.
We’ll assume there is no need to explain the impact of content (and by that I mean not just any kind of content) in a content marketing funnel, and also that content marketing isn’t just writing blog posts. This is the misconception many business owners, even some marketers, still have. Claiming that content marketing is just another word for blogging is, well, wrong. Blogging is definitely a part of content marketing, but there is much more involved.