Content marketing? What is it?

Content marketing is defined by various organizations, including Oberlo, Small Business Trends, The Content Council, Forbes, and Hubspot. It’s almost like a new term for an old concept. We’ve been promoting ourselves and our companies through content for as long as we could put words on paper.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) has perhaps the most comprehensive definition of what “content marketing” is and, in turn, how it should be done:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – and drive profitable customer action. The objective of content marketing is to generate leads and sales by capturing and keeping someone’s attention.
In other words, if you’re creating or publishing online material to build relationships with people who might become your customers—or even just inform potential customers about what you do—you’re doing content marketing. It’s that simple.
It’s not a new concept, but thanks to the rise of digital and social media, it’s now easier for organizations to find their audience and to see how they react to different types of information to learn how best to reach them.
The challenge is figuring out which type of content each marketer should create or use based on their target audience. In other words: What should a marketer blog about? And what does one post look like? Here are some tips from experts at REI, the popular outdoor equipment retailer, and HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company.