01/07/2014 10:37 am ET Updated Feb 23, 2014

Is #Contentmarketing #Fashionable?

There is something here that just isn't right, and it's more than just a few hashtag and word combinations. Is it possible these two phrases, #Contentmarketing and #Fashionable are either too close in theory, or too far apart in actuality? What I mean is, they could be very closely aligned, or very far apart because they are terms used in different industries. Something tells me I could be on to something. Maybe there is another way to look at these.

As a content marketer, I love innovation and creativity. What inspires me is a stunning design on a website, creative video production and intuitive social media. But most of all, I love digital. The good news is all of these fit the definition of content marketing. According to The Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience -- with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Content Marketing

Recently, I had the pleasure of communicating with the Founder of The Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi. For the purpose of this blog, I thought it was best to get a perspective from someone who lives, eats and sleeps content marketing. Who better to answer the question; is content marketing fashionable? Joe Pulizzi, who probably had thousands of ideas going through his head as he read the question, gave me a very succinct response:

Yes, content marketing is IN fashion at the present time. It's the flavor of the month. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. It's funny, even though the industry itself is over 100 years old, now that all the barriers to entry are gone, brands are publishing like crazy.

Merging Content Marketing With Fashion

Okay, let's change gears. I want to attempt to merge the attributes of content marketing and fashion. Joe Pulizzi just stated that content marketing is in fashion, so we know that we have the content marketing side of it covered. Let's turn the tables for a moment and see what renowned fashion prodigy Julia Chew has to say about this so-called merger of two creative, stylin' trends. Before we hear from Julia, let's take a look at some of the official definitional traits of the word fashion. It means "A prevailing custom, usage, or style. -- the make or form of something."

Is it possible content marketing and fashion, two words used in completely separate industries are just coincidentally aligned because of common traits? Both of them are similar when it comes to style and the formation of something. If this is true, why is it we don't hear them used in the same sentences? When pondering this concept, I wonder if there is a relationship bond between the two.

How Does Fashion Relate To Content Marketing?

A fashion connoisseur I am not. Because of my lack of expertise in this area, I decided that I needed to find someone who knows fashion who can provide me with more detailed information, beyond my personal knowledge. This will help me be more confident in my decision to assess the relationship between content marketing and fashion. I think you need more than just a dictionary definition and my opinion. Enter fashion entrepreneur Julia Chew, owner and founder of Xiaolin Design, widely known for her extraordinary fashion design. Julia took the time to answer a few questions.

Scott MacFarland: Julia, How Do You Describe Fashion?

Julia Chew: From my perspective, fashion starts from the artist's vision which is then brought to life on the runway. The creativity shown including color, style and fit are incorporated into wearable garments. Finally, ready-to-wear clothes and mass produced apparel are sold to the general public.

SM: Julia, How Do You Create Something So That It Becomes Fashionable?

JC: It is important to study the trends, know what people want, and how they want to present themselves. As a designer, it is best to find a uniqueness that is not already represented. Creating something new and interesting has the potential to start a new trend in fashion.

SM: Julia, How Do You Think The Creativity It Takes To Design For Fashion Is Similar To The Creativity It Takes To Design Stunning Websites?

JC: Both appeal to the visual. Both will be able to fit many different types of people coming from a variety of cultures, sizes, and genres. Both need to be simple in their design in order to reach a large or specific audience and also have a flair of imagination, color, and style.

Julia certainly has made a compelling case in comparing the similarities of fashion and content marketing. However, I feel we need to cross-reference our comments from our professionals with the all-important web.

Web Fashion

Developing a website can be very much like designing clothes. You must have a vision, imagination and style. All of this combined can be creative and innovative, and can also be a vehicle for content marketers as well. If a website is formed to be creative and stylish, does that mean it could be considered fashionable? Hmm... I think we may be on to something. Let's take a look at two websites that may be just what the artiste ordered; Pinkanova and Customedialabs. You be the judge and see for yourself if both of these websites pass the creativity and stylish test and worthy of the "fashionable" label.

Is It Possible We Have It All Wrong?

We started this article with the question, Is #Contentmarketing #Fashionable? Then
We heard from a few professionals, defined both content marketing and fashion, and finally helped complete our assessment by reviewing stylish websites. Now that we have come down to our final thoughts, is it possible we have it all wrong? In our search for clarity, dual creativity and stylish reason, could it be possible there is no question at all? Maybe, just maybe a reversal is in order. How about... #fashionable is #contentmarketing. Now that sounds better.