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They Ask You Answer by Krista Kotrla, Marcus Sheridan

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41Is Content Marketing and They Ask, You Answer Just a Fad?

“Will content marketing even be around in ten years once everyone has attempted to do it?”

This question, and others just like it, have been tossed my way in almost every presentation I’ve given on the subject over the past five years.

And unfortunately, for many of the folks asking the question, this lack of understanding as to what content marketing really is has led to inaction and a greater divide between themselves and their competitors—those who are willing to accept today’s consumer and shift the way they market and sell accordingly.

What Exactly Is Content Marketing?

Fundamentally, if we boil it down to its most basic characteristics, how would we define content marketing (assuming we weren’t using marketing speak)?

  • Earning trust through teaching?
  • Using great information to help others solve their problems?
  • Listening to consumer questions and providing honest answers to those questions?

However you define it, these basic tenets of content marketing and They Ask, You Answer have been around forever. Since the beginning of time, we’ve known that great communication, listening, teaching, and transparency all lead to trust.

The same could be said for the future.

But today, because of the Internet and the information age, we’ve given it a name: content marketing. It’s not a name I made up, and it’s maybe not even the name we’ll be using in twenty or thirty years. But it certainly fits the bill for right now ...

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