This month's Tweet Jam tackled the do's and don'ts, ins and outs of content marketing. The insights gained throughout the hour was evidence that great content comes from brilliant minds. Overall, we learned it's not the tools you use, it's how you use them; and that as content marketers, our customers may not always care about us, but we should always care about them and try to create a customer journey that doesn't just meets their needs, but is as pleasant as can be. 

Make it Meaningful

When it comes to defining content marketing, most if not all of our panelists were on the same page. Content marketing is compelling, meaningful, engaging and most importantly, not annoying. Additionally, we learned that content marketing is about as much about customer journey as it is about where they end up.  

Q1. How do you define content marketing?

Storified by CMSWire.com · Wed, Jul 25 2012 17:52:27

Q1: Content Marketing=Compelling, relevant content delivered to a customer/prospect to drive a profitable customer action. #cxmchatJoe Pulizzi
Q1: content marketing is telling a compelling story while also providing value around your product, service or company. #cxmchatIMS Pittsburgh
Q1 Content marketing is creation and distribution of knowledge for marketing purposes #cxmchatRobert McCarthy
Q1: if cos produce customer-savvy content, hopefully custs will see vendor as useful, maybe even trustworthy #CXMchatJulie Hunt
Q1 Instead of interrupting customers with ads around the content they want, content marketing means being the content. #cxmchatJoe Pulizzi
Q1: for software vendors, #contentmarketing is huge opp to focus on custs & do better job of understanding their needs & desires #CXMchatJulie Hunt
.@juliebhunt Agree. There's a huge opportunity for engagement with CM as well. #cxmchatLibby Clark
@LibbyMClark Q1: takes a lot of hard work to engage well, but well worth it #CXMchatJulie Hunt
Q1) If your content marketing is annoying, you're doing it wrong. #cxmchatScott Paley
#Contentmarketing = non-disruptive web mktg, uses meaningful content not blatant adverts to create brand-consumer relationships #cxmchatGabrielle Kur
Q1 we'll cover this in a later Q but CM (content marketing) should be tied to the needs & desires of the persona & customer stage #cxmchatbillycripe
Q1 Content Marketing is what builds the path from prospect to customer to evangelist #CXMchatCarla Johnson
RT @juntajoe: Q1 - FYI...Content marketing is more than just digital channel...focus on print and in-person as well #cxmchat Meet buyer where they are at.Deborah Bates
A1 Content Mktg = creation + proliferation of media that is of value to target audiences + creates opportunities to convert 2 leads #CXMchatAndrew Mueller
Q1 Content = shows there's something going on "up there." Gives a sense of what working w/you is like thru the brand's thinking #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez
Q1: Marketing that actually focuses on the customer and what interests them to get them closer to buying your product! #CXMchatSam Kenison
Q1: Content marketing without developed buyer personas ends up wasting a lot of time, for the biz and the prospect #cxmchatDigitalSherpa

The Road to Content Marketing 

If it's the journey, not the destination, is it possible to have great content without a defined path? Sure, but only if you have really, spectacular content. However, it's not up to the company to decide if they have a journey or not -- your customers do. If you're not taking them where they want to go, you might as well not be there at all. Ideally, to make content marketing work, the customer journey should make the customer want to develop a stronger relationship with the brand. 

Q2. Does every organization have a customer journey?

Storified by CMSWire.com · Wed, Jul 25 2012 17:58:20

Q2 Every org has customer journey. Not every org has a journey worth taking. Best "audit" is to ask whether YOU'D go for that ride. #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez
Q2: Customers own the journey, not organizations. #cxmchatLoni Stark
RT @lonistark: Q2: Asking wrong question. Every customer is on a journey. Organizations that join the journey will survive #cxmchatJoe Pulizzi
Q2 CM helps orgs guide, speed & shortcut that journey rather than only showing up at the finish line #cxmchatbillycripe
Q2: Every organization that has a customer has a customer journey. Journey must fit the customer and the brand. #cxmchatKevin Carlson
@cmswire yes. every org with a customer has a customer journey- a map of how a relationship forms between customer and the org. #cxmchatdeb louison lavoy
@lonistark - but it is the organization's job to make sure that the path is well worn and easy to follow #cxmchatmarci maddox
RT @RobMMcCarthy: Q2 Every organisation has a customer journey though you may have more than one path. #cxmchattrobbins
#cxmchat Q2 Agree w @AndrewMueller the customer is on the journey, marketers trying to own it all is not good CM #cxmchatDavid Skarjune
Q2: Of course. Essential to recognize and catergorize customer journeys. CM should come at just the right stop on the journey. #cxmchatPat Niday
Q2 Disagree some w idea that the customer owns the journey. Not just ab pleasing. It's ab innovating. Client can't do that for you #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez
It’s not so much a journey as it is about a relationship. Great relationships can only come from the right, guided journey. #CXMchatFrank Del Pinto
Q2 - Yes, the job of content marketing is to make the customer's journey easier...make it easy for them to buy with whatever path #cxmchatJoe Pulizzi
Q2 Companies need to understand their own journey and create a strategy that connects with customers in all directions #CXMchatCarla Johnson
Life+customer journeys are messy. Start w/ customer map and have agility to adapt. RT @cmswire: But is the journey clearly defined? #cxmchatLoni Stark
A2: The customer is on a journey to buy a product + will consider competition, the brand is not in control of the journey #cxmchatAndrew Mueller
#cxmchat Q2 I'm so tired of company's telling their story as if it were some journey... #cxmchatDavid Skarjune
Q2 Content can steer the journey many ways. Can be ab people, places, product, practice, ideas. As long as it takes you someplace #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez
disagree @cmswire and @mmaddox2Tx - customers don't want 2b funneled 2 a "well worn path". They validation on the path they choose #cxmchatbillycripe
Q2: Companies should spend time on understanding their customer's journey and where they can help. #CXMchat #cxmchattrobbins
@skarjune Orgs should focus less on their story, and more on cust service and education. Seems simple enough, right? #cxmchatDigitalSherpa
Q2: A brand that thinks they own the customer journey isn't prepared for a customer that responds like they have a choice. #cxmchatKevin Carlson
A2, the brand can influence the journey by providing customer experiences (daytrips along the way) #cxmchatAndrew Mueller
Love that we all agree that the customer determines the journey, but org makes getting there enjoyable. #cxmchatCMSWire.com
#cxmchat Q2 @AdobeWEM I'll take a feasible path... enjoyable? that'd be nice #cxmchatDavid Skarjune
Q2: for S/W buyers, buying journey can be quite complex - #contentMarketing great potential for guiding/responding to their needs #CXMchatJulie Hunt
Q2) A customer journey is not the same thing as the organization's story though. It's about the customer. #cxmchatScott Paley
Q2: Is traditional "lead nurturing" dead? #cxmchatDigitalSherpa
some parts of it, we hope RT @DigitalSherpas: Q2: Is traditional "lead nurturing" dead? #cxmchatdeb louison lavoy

Consistency is the Hardest Part

With just a few key elements essential to content marketing (content, a customer journey and engagement), what is the hardest part and how do you know if you're doing it well? Consensus was quick -- the hardest part is being consistent. In order to do it well, you need to check all egos at the door.

Your Biggest Content Marketing Asset -- Your Brain

We were sure we were going to learn what's in the content marketer's tool box, but as it turns out, it's not about the tools, it's about the brains. So if you're looking for the best, brightest and shiniest new tool, you'll be disappointed. But if you're looking for what can work in lieu of tools, look no further. 

Measure What Matters

How do you know if you're content marketing strategy is working? Having your customers love you back, is a good sign. You can measure engagement, traffic and transactional goals, but whatever you choose to measure, make sure it aligns with your marketing objectives.

Give The People What They Want 

If consistency is key, how can you adequately evolve as content marketing evolves? According to our panelists the future of content marketing is about keeping your goals on track with what your audiences is doing, their needs and expectations. 

Q6. What does content marketing tell us about the future of online marketing?

Storified by CMSWire.com · Wed, Jul 25 2012 18:01:02

Q6: Content is king whether it is owned, earned or paid. Online and offline - it is most powerful when it is useful and shared. #cxmchatLoni Stark
Q6 "Content is King" is just a slogan...playing field is level without need of royalty, as predicted by Cluetrain Manifesto #cxmchatDavid Skarjune
Q6: The same thing Google algorithms have been telling us for years, that quality content is king. #cxmchatDigitalSherpa
Q6 Online is busy and crowded you need to work hard/smart to succeed. Real time measurement allows you to understand and react. #cxmchatRobert McCarthy
Q6 - If you want to see the future of content mktg look at Red Bull: They are a media company that happens to sell energy drinks #cxmchatJoe Pulizzi
Q6 Consumers require value not gimmicks. Make lives & decisions easier. Provide genuine, unique insight. Give to get. #cxmchatbillycripe
A6 Future of Mktg: continued emphasisi on providing valuable content and branded experiences that create pull #cxmchatAndrew Mueller
Q6: It's still about reaching your audience. New paths, new media, same focus. Many more alternatives that must be managed. #cxmchatKevin Carlson
Q6: lot of cos, esp B2B S/W vendors, barely getting started w/ #CM - still lots to learn; success stories show #CM 'right path' #CXMchatJulie Hunt
Q6: The future is about reaching the audience in a way that is meaningful for THEM #cxmchattrobbins
Q6 Content is the new coin of the realm, but customers have to bank on it. #cxmchatDavid Skarjune
Q6 - CMSs must be made easier for marketers and integrate deeper with CRM, social, and other marketing platforms. #cxmchatScott Paley
srt w/ e-z, then integrate RT @spaley: Q6-CMSs must B made easier 4 mktrs & integrate deeper w/ CRM, social, & other mktg platforms #cxmchatAaron Dun
Before content marketing can be truly effective, companies need to figure out what their marketing platform/infrastructure will be. #CXMchatFrank Del Pinto
Q6 future of web mkting = disappearance of biz tools; Best, most engaging content will be created, shared just as family photos are #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez
Q6 - future of CM will not be about pushing ads but informing users and making connections easier #cxmchatmarci maddox
Q6 CM and the future of online marketing - it's still a marriage of the message and the medium #CXMchatCarla Johnson
Q6: To follow up on Red Bull/Nike What large brand does CM the best and serves as example to others? #cxmchatDigitalSherpa
Q6: Chanel, General Motors, Philips' social site, REI to name a few. @DigitalSherpas #cxmchatLoni Stark
Q6 Mom-&-pop shops are almost as capable as "big boys" of captivating w/story, & that playing field is only getting more level. #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez
Q6- Reach out to mobile devices, tabs with funky ads. But who is interested? Nobody!. So what the way out?!?!?! Its #GAMIFICATION #cxmchatSuchet Kaushik
Q6: The people behind the content are more and more important. Need content creators who can relate to and engage w your audience #cxmchatStudio One
Q6 Implication of shift away frm biz tools: authenticity, truth will become more important to content marketing as shift progresses #CXMchatNicolás A. Jiménez

While our panelists provided amazing insights about the state of content marketing, if you weren't a part of the live Tweet Jam, you may have missed just how collegial the atmosphere was. Happy hours were being organized, soundtracks were created and it may have been the first time responses were dictated to a second party. We hope that you had as much fun as we did. Thank you for all that participating and we look forward to having you back real soon!