09/28/2015 01:55 pm ET Updated Sep 28, 2016

All the Action Is NOT in the Content

Unless you have had your head buried in the sand for the last few years, you would have seen that content marketing as a marketing practice and discipline has burst into the limelight.
Content marketing is effective, useful and here for the foreseeable future.

By its very definition, content marketing is about an integrated and connected approach to marketing, in which the content used to, drive sales, engage and/or retain customers, change perception or up-sell products really does matter to the end of user.

While content marketing is getting all the attention at the moment, the real action is happening in the context. To truly understand the importance of context, you need to understand the psychology of the recipient on the platform where they are consuming the content. When you understand that taking a piece of content, posting it on Facebook to 1,000 people, then taking the exact same piece of content and posting it to the exact same 1,000 people on Pinterest, you will get a completely different response. What was the difference? Only the context of the content. Facebook is an all-encompassing social awareness platform and Pinterest is all about content that is inspiring with intent to buy. Your content needs to talk to the context and the psychology of why the users are on these platforms.

The foundation of content marketing is to provide value to customers and potential customers. By focusing on the relevance and context of your brand's content objectives, on the various platforms and brand touch points, businesses can truly attract, engage and convert people as long as they provide valuable content within the environment in which they are consuming.

The idea of content being taken out of context is not new and has been used for decades, especially guilty are the movies and book review blurbs. Example:

Film: Live Free or Die Hard.
Blurb: Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: "Hysterically...entertaining."
Actual written line: "The action in this fast-paced, hysterically overproduced and surprisingly entertaining film is as realistic as a Road Runner cartoon."

Context matters, context sells and context is the difference between engaging content and wallpaper.

The purpose of content marketing is to tell a rich and seamless story that carries across screens, matches your audiences needs, interests and behaviour. If you want to add real value and you want to make real change, your content needs to be valuable and your context needs to be relevant.

To succeed at the context game, ask yourself this question: "Are you delivering the right message, to the right person, via the right medium at the right time?"

Great story telling will always win, but great content must be contextually relevant.