Should content marketing have its own promotion?

Content marketing (creating great content to attract prospects and position your brand) is by definition a marketing exercise. So should a content marketing campaign have its own promotional budget? I think many businesses don’t even consider it. To them, that would be advertising an advertisement, which sounds a bit odd.

But is that the case?

Twenty-five years ago, as a magazine editor, I was introduced to many of London’s restaurants by PR companies wanting to sit me in front of the managing director of the Blue Widget Company. While that was worthwhile long-term networking for both sides, the short-term outcome was generally to thrust a new press release into my hand with a pretty good chance that it would be published, having had the opportunity to explain its significance first-hand. So what was happening here? The company was spending £100 on a promotion for its promotion. Nobody questioned the value of that.

There are plenty of other examples of backing up marketing with more marketing. How else could you describe magazine adverts and mailshots to “see us on stand 123 at WidgetEx”?

So is the effort already expended in creating great content worth further supporting financially? I think so.

I think the caveat is that if the content is online, the promotion needs to be online too. The difficulties of using offline media to persuade people to access something online are well known. Although probably only a small financial outlay, an email campaign to draw attention to new valuable content is a must. However, search advertisements can be great value here. While you’d want to spend the big money on getting your product pages advertised next to product-buying searches, there’s a lot of cheap click space going next to product-research related queries, where your product pages wouldn’t be a suitable target anyway. If your content is answering a query, why not advertise the content next to that query too?