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Marketing has expanded and evolved due largely in part to the internet and the launch of what is now referred to as the social media channel. Social media was once all the buzz. Now it needs to step aside to allow for the new buzz: Content marketing. Content marketing is increasingly becoming all the buzz. It’s an integral part of social media. Content marketing is now ‘where it’s at’. Or is it?

As a content marketing agency, it’s a given that we are immersed in content creation and everything that goes along with it. Google now supports content marketing with its recent change to its algorithms (once again!) to include phrasing structures, incorporating them into the SEO keyword data metrics. This provides for optimal referencing and content creation to take place around a key thought. The possibilities with this are endless. Building a content marketing strategy around a topic is now a little easier, more authentic and dare I say more fluid! But the question begs to be asked: Are brands and businesses there yet?

First of all it’s important for businesses to understand what content marketing is. The digital footprint of businesses and brands needs to expand. 30% of adults (35-54) and 39% of adults (18-34) access their information digitally. Clearly there is a strong need for brands to be seen digitally. From a marketing perspective, the lines are continuously being blurred between traditional advertising and PR. New content marketing agencies are being launched with the aim of incorporating a blend of both. However, content marketing is much more than writing editorial or blogging. It’s larger than posting on Facebook or composing a Tweet within 140 characters. It also includes video content and streaming. Showing information is quickly becoming the norm. Many consumers are searching YouTube to learn how to build, create, make or bake! In Canada, YouTube hosts 80% of the online video consumed*. That’s significant, to say the least.

As any content marketing agency will tell you, you need to “work it”.

In other words, you need to spend the time, money and effort to make it happen. Many marketing and business professionals are mystified by content marketing and its affect on brand. That’s understandable. This is often tied into the illusion that content marketing can be handled internally. Like everything in marketing, content marketing needs to have a strategy. The strategy behind the content marketing, (preferably with the support of a content marketing agency), can and should be owned internally. Although, the development and “working” of content marketing, should be left to the experts.

There exists a need for a more integrated approach to social media to include content marketing for businesses, brands and branding. This includes everything from web design, SEO, eNewsletters, eBooks, eZines, subscriptions to blogs or forums to sales lead generation and marketing. All of it in the hope of “getting found” at the right place and at the right time.

So, are we there yet? Or more succinctly, are brands and businesses there yet?

*Canadian Internet Usage Statistics on Mobile, Search and Social