The easy answer is: marketing (editorial) content. But then you actually don't know anything yet. So now my version of the comprehensive answer to the question: what is content marketing?
Content Marketing is a profession, a specialty, a methodology with which marketing communication objectives can be achieved. Content marketing distinguishes itself from other areas of communication, such as advertising, by using an editorial concept that subsequently enters into a conversation with consumers. This editorial concept is liquid: it can be developed for every possible medium. And in all conceivable forms: text, image, animation, video, games etc. As long as the concept only has a lifespan of several months to a few years. Individual elements from a content marketing plan can of course be used as a campaign, but practice shows that if content marketing is used as a long-term strategy, it is a very successful tool. Matter of a long breath, but unfortunately too many companies pull the plug too early. An important distinction is also that content marketing translates the message from push to pull. And that is perhaps the basis for the success of this specialty.
Consumer in control
As we all experience by now, the internet has changed our world drastically. The media that brands use to communicate with their target groups no longer have the effect of the past. Today's consumers decide for themselves what information they want to download and when they want it, and they share that information with everyone. There are still branches that try to impose their will on their customers through protectionist measures. The banking sector is one of them. In my opinion a hopeless pursuit that will only turn against them. Recently I heard someone say that he had opened a deposit account in Finland; "I get a higher interest there and my assets are better protected," he said. His Dutch bank had it checked - all advertisements, despite unannounced telephone calls and product-oriented direct mails. A typical example of the time in which we all ended up together. The consumer has taken over the power of brands / companies that apparently have nothing left to contribute.
But of course it isn't that black and white either. The Internet has shaken up the existing marketing laws considerably and some of those old laws have no effect at this time. But where old laws expire, new ones always appear. And it is up to the new generation of marketers to discover these laws and to deal with them as well as possible. An example of such an old law is what we understand by interruption marketing. Freely translated, this is the promotion of a brand, product or service through various media, without taking into account the situation of the consumer or his information needs (many also include outbound marketing). But the consumer is no longer so easily caught. Opposite the old law of interruption marketing is now inventation marketing. In short, this means that you as a brand / company try to invite consumers to get in touch with you. Producing relevant content is the basis for making contact. And that is where the content marketing discipline comes in. With content marketing methods, marketers can participate again and come into contact with their target group.