It is all just marketing

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Marketing  |  Brand Journalism

Ah, names...

Inbound Marketing.
Content Marketing.
Social Media Marketing.
Brand Journalism.

There are a bunch of names out there for what are essentially the same thing: How creating amazing information and publishing it on the web drives action.

A decade from now I'm quite certain we won't be calling these things out as separate disciplines. It's all just marketing, isn't it?

No matter what you call it, when you understand your buyers and create something interesting to them like a blog post, video, infographic or engage on a social network it creates something that the search engines find and that people share.

Bottom line is that we're just talking about marketing here

The issue is that various people and organizations are using different terms for what are essentially the same thing. I actually use all of these terms myself from time to time.

"Inbound Marketing" is a term that HubSpot has built a powerful brand around starting with the book they released with that as a title. (I'm a HubSpot advisor and wrote the foreword to Inbound Marketing).

"Content Marketing" is a term made popular by Joe Pulizzi at the Content Marketing Institute. (I have spoken at their Content Marketing World event).

"Brand Journalism" is a term I use specifically for content created for marketing purposes by journalists who work at companies that are not in the media business.

"Social media marketing" is popular with others and I will occasionally drop this term into something I'm writing.

While these things have subtle differences - for example in brand journalism I advocate that companies hire journalists to create content and social media marketing implies people sharing - they are essentially describing the same thing.

I've been advocating for this stuff for more than a decade. For example, my 2005 book Cashing in with Content was arguably the first content marketing book. (It’s dated now because it was written pre-Twitter, pre- YouTube, and pre-Facebook). To me these ideas are not "new" and I don't want to slot my ideas definitively into one arbitrary categorization of what is essentially the same thing.

It is all just marketing

A few years from now, I don't think people will be talking about these things as unique forms of marketing.

People are solving problems by going to the search engines and connecting with people on social networks. So any successful marketing program, no matter what you call it, needs to be doing this stuff.

Thank you to Ben Dillon for prompting this post.