Joe Pulizzi calls himself a content marketing evangelist, but I like to think of him as the godfather of content marketing.
Pulizzi is the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, which, among other impressive details, organizes Content Marketing World, “the largest in-person content marketing event in the world.” Pulizzi has been thinking about content marketing for years — 16 in fact. He first used the term “content marketing” in 2001, when not many people were talking about the idea.
Today, though, people are certainly talking and thinking about it.
So, what exactly is content marketing?
Pulizzi defines it as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable content to attract a defined audience — and drive profitable action.”
Let’s dig into that definition for a second.
With content marketing, you are not just pushing content out to say, “Hey world, look at my content." Instead, you are being very strategic about what types of content you create so that you can appeal to a particular group of people and get them to interact with you in the way that you want.
The Content Marketing Institute found that the number one reason businesses and organizations focus on content marketing is for lead generation. Now this content can take many forms — blog posts, videos, e-newsletters, podcasts, etc. All of that is content. And done correctly, it can all drive your audience to action.
In my opinion, one of the best ways to leverage content marketing derives from another term I’d like to introduce you to: open marketing.
Open marketing, at its core, really means having a platform that provides the freedom and flexibility to use whatever tools and applications best showcase your content marketing efforts. And when it comes to freedom and flexibility, no platform is as powerful as Drupal.
Duo has created websites exclusively using Drupal for the past eight years, and the reason is those two words.
Drupal is built on the idea of open marketing; it gives you the ability to build and customize a website or platform that best aligns with your business goals and objectives. Unlike other publishing platforms like Adobe or Sitecore, which lock you in to using the programs or tools that come with it, Drupal is an open-source platform that allows you to integrate with best-of-breed marketing tools. You get to pick and choose what modules you want to use. Anything you don’t need — well, you don’t need it.
So, what does this look like? Let me give you an example.
Princess Cruises found an innovative way to use Drupal as the foundational platform for its Princess@Sea app. The app is a content hub for travelers, and it provides a customized experience for guests as they prepare for a trip, and even more importantly, when they are on board. The app displays events going on throughout the ship, menus for restaurants and so much more. The app also displays on each and every one of the ship’s screens. And beyond that, Princess Cruises even created a video on-demand service for guests that allows them to pick and choose their content — and that, too, is driven through Drupal.
Drupal is the heart of all of Princess Cruises’ content.
I think that example really demonstrates how you can use Drupal to create an open marketing experience, but it also illustrates another key benefit of Drupal: the platform is designed to be iterative. You don’t need to create everything for your content marketing needs all at one time. You can start small and then build as needed.
Say you’re a startup company looking to get off the ground. You have a small contact base that you connect with using Mailchimp, but you don’t have a bonafide CRM (customer relationship management tool) yet. Thanks to Drupal and the open marketing concept, you could integrate Mailchimp with Drupal, since you’re already comfortable with the service. Perhaps if you wanted to “upgrade" later, you could switch to Marketo or Salesforce.
In the meantime, you could also integrate with a service like OpenInbound and begin to use it as your initial CRM. OpenInbound is a really powerful program, as my colleague Rich Lawson, our CTO here at Duo, recently wrote about.
While talking about the benefits of Drupal, I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the financial benefits. The complex platforms like Adobe and Sitecore that I mentioned will cost thousands of dollars just for the licensing rights. Drupal’s cost?
Flexible. Iterative. Affordable.
That’s why I love Drupal. And that’s why I think it is the best option out there for your content marketing needs.