Podcast: What is content marketing anyway?

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The Rise Up Podcast
The Rise Up Podcast
Podcast: What is content marketing anyway?

Will content marketing be the saviour of the industry or is it just another passing trend? Hosts Adam Smith and Joanna Riley take you on a quick tour of the content marketing landscape including what it is, what it isn’t, and how you can use it to achieve your business goals.


Content marketing is all about the audience. It’s educational, not promotional. You put up content to attract the interest of potential customers and clients without the expectation of an immediate return on your investment.



Welcome to the Rise Up podcast. A show about the speed of innovation in business. We talk to leading thinkers, researchers and industry experts about the future of business in the Great White North.  

Adam: I am your host Adam Smith, CEO of Rise Up Strategies, and I am joined today by my colleague, Joanna Riley, and today we are going to discuss a topic that hardly needs introduction. Content marketing. 

Joanna: Content marketing?

Adam: Content marketing!

Joanna: First, let’s break down what it is. Everyone has heard the buzzwords ‘content marketing’ but what does it mean?

Content marketing is all about the audience. It’s educational, not promotional. You put up content to attract the interest of potential customers and clients without the expectation of an immediate return on your investment. You’re essentially creating a future with these people. You’re building brand loyalty. So what direction is content marketing heading?

Adam:  Well, content marketing isn’t a new concept but it’s applications in the digital area are undoubtedly changing business and perhaps society at large. However, the concept on it’s own isn’t static and we see content marketing melding with other concepts like experiential marketing.

Joanna: It’s a combination of the head and the heart

Adam: Often, yes. There’s no shortage of studies indicating that people, particularly younger generations are after experiences so smart marketers need to be aware of these trends and how they work together. 

Joanna: How do you keep your content marketing as targeted as your audience?

Adam: Well that’s a good question. No matter how many audiences you’ve identified, they all have some elements in common. For example, no one wants to run into deadends when they are attempting to learn more about your brand. Think of information as layers and always provide your audiences with an opportunity to go deeper and interact with your brand in more meaningful ways. But specific audience segments may require a higher level of personalization so make sure to calibrate this with the segments or individual’s return on investment for your business.

Joanna: Mmm, hmm. How do you appeal to a diverse audience without sounding mass-produced and still remaining authentic?

Adam: Well, that’s another good question. Digital channels and concepts like content marketing provide businesses with unprecedented abilities to personalize messaging and the tools to build this personalization are becoming more accessible right down to small mom and pop businesses but personalization requires a certain level of marketing sophistication so don’t get too deep into the weeds. Start big, start by identifying your brand’s value proposition. 

Joanna: That’s a great idea.

Adam: Mmm, then perhaps reframe that value prop. based on your most important customer segments. In other words, like so many things, use a big brush at first and then fill in the details as you and your team learn.

Joanna: That’s great. How about unpredictable pitfalls?

Adam: Hmm, well, content marketing is now pretty much as mainstream as you can get. A lot has changed in the last 20 years. To put it in perspective, YouTube has only been around for 14 years so there are still some lagerds out there.

Joanna: Oh

Adam: But we know search engines like Google reward good content. Additionally, over 200 million people out there are using ad blockers on their computers so content marketing is a way to cut through the static and get to who your intended audience is. Of course there are pitfalls but the biggest is avoid getting started for fear of doing something wrong. As they say, a thousand  mile journey begins with one single step.

Joanna: Exactly.

Adam: As experts in the digital strategic consulting space, we help companies and organizations leverage disruptive forces in the market to drive business, win clients and reach goals. 

Joanna: Thanks for joining us today.

Rise Up Strategies is a Canadian-based consulting group with offices in Ottawa and can be found online at riseupstrategies.com and in the usual places on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Adam: Join us next time as we delve into the world of change management which should prove to be a fascinating subject.

This podcast has the honor of being our first one ever. I hope you like what you hear and we look forward to bringing you other insightful conversations in the weeks and months ahead. 

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