Module JP040

Content Marketing

Module authors

Jos Schijns

Open University
The Netherlands



Suzanne de Bakker

University of Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Learning objectives

After you completed this module, you will be able to:

  • Explain both content and content marketing, and why it is important in today's marketing field.
  • Create a well-structured content marketing strategy using the Content Marketing Framework.
  • Execute a content marketing strategy successfully.
  • Analyze and evaluate an existing content marketing strategy.
  • Continuously improve the effectiveness of your content marketing approach using the metrics provided.

0.1 ‘The bad breath test' from Orabrush
0.2 Overview of the study material

Chapter 1: Content marketing basics
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Content marketing is hot
1.3 Why is content marketing hot? Changes in consumers' media behavior
1.4 Limitations of the four marketing Ps
1.5 From selling and pushing to content marketing
1.6 Defining content marketing
1.7 Example of content marketing: ‘Stripe up your life' from Stabilo

Chapter 2: Content
2.1 Introduction
2.2 What is content?
2.3 Types of content: entertaining and educating content
2.3.1 Content that entertains
2.3.2 Content that educates/informs
2.4 How to start with content marketing: the Content Marketing Framework

Chapter 3: Customers' needs
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Who is your audience?
3.3 Personas 
3.4 The customer's journey
3.5 The creation of buyer personas and customers' journeys

Chapter 4: The business objectives 
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Content marketing goals
4.3 Distinctive content
4.4 Examples: American Express and Microsoft

Chapter 5: Media 
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Paid, owned, and earned media
5.3 Converged media
5.4 Media types, goals, and the customer journey

Chapter 6: Internal organization
6.1 Introduction
6.2 The Content Organizing Model
6.3 Groups of people with differing goals and expectations
6.3.1 The content strategist
6.3.2 The internal stakeholders
6.4 Alignment
6.5 The content creators
6.6 Example: Law firm Kennedy Van der Laan (KvdL)

Chapter 7: Effective content
7.1 Introduction 
7.2 Lack of scientific research
7.3 The complex nature of content marketing 
7.4 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
7.4.1 Consuming content
7.4.2 Sharing content
7.4.3 The conversion of content
7.5 KPIs and content marketing goals
7.6 Effectiveness of customer magazines
7.7 Content marketing showcases
7.7.1 ‘The bad breath test' from Orabrush
7.7.2 ‘Stripe up your life' from Stabilo

Study points 2
Reading extract Content Marketing


Why Open School of Journalism believes that Content Marketing skills are important

Content Marketing is all about creating and sharing content through online platforms. Readers and potential customers should read these valuable contents for free, without even signing up. The purpose of sharing these free contents online is to attract more number of target customers and potential buyers. If not, these contents are focused on promoting a particular product and service so that the target audience can learn and know more about the company and what it has to offer. Another important aim of content marketing is to educate people so that they can know what your company sells. In addition, they can explore your service to do business with you in future. In this way, content marketing always focuses on improving your online business by various means.

Those interested in enrolling for this module will be happy to know that it gives theoretical and practical training on content marketing, sales and social content creation. Journalists, PR professionals, and bloggers will find this module helpful.

The chief aim is to teach the student about basic approaches to improve visits and maybe sales by creating social contents, sharing those online, and optimizing through preferable options. Based on the present competitive market trends and business scenarios, it is always important for content writers to stay focused and active. To do so, online presence is very much important. Through content marketing, you can always stay focused on finding the right target audience for better sale and income. Companies that sell products and services will also find this method very feasible and productive. 


Content marketing: A brief overview

Content marketing has grown popular in the last decade. Online marketers have reportedly chosen this easy and inexpensive marketing method over other methods to promote their products and services eventually. Popular social media sites have become a platform for sharing contents and promoting business too. In fact, reports claim that Facebook alone has more than 3.5 billion pieces of contents shared every week. Bloggers, content writers, and marketers spend hours each week in creating contents and promoting those through various social media sites. Even though content marketing is time consuming, it is one of the best modes of promoting business and services without spending a huge amount of money. 


Why is content marketing important?

A recently done survey claims that 90 percent of all sales on online retail sites come from online contents. Consumers now look for reviews and opinions first before making a purchase online. This indeed helps them to make informed decisions eventually. That's when the online contents play an important role. No wonder, content marketing has become a favorable and popular mode of online marketing and promotion these days.


Limitation of the four Ps

When it comes to the four marketing Ps, which are price, promotion, product, and place, you definitely need a strategy. It is always very important to promote your product in the right place at the right time and at a good marketing price. To manage things in the right way, you should follow a defined approach instead of the age-old way of marketing techniques. Online marketing, thus, comes to the picture. To reach the maximum number of target audience in the minimum amount of time and with minimal effort, you should always target a comprehensive and effective marketing strategy. Content marketing can be the solution for your marketing dilemma in this case. With that said, content marketing, which you also call article marketing can easily optimize your business and immediately launch your business on a global platform for better profitability. 


Stripe Up your life from Stabilo

Although Stabilo is an established company in Europe, it recently became globally popular due to its new and innovative online marketing ideas. Stabilo launched a few videos with the "Stripe up your life" theme to promote their products. Their videos went viral and contents became popular too. They now have a Facebook business page with millions of members. This new ad campaign from Stabilo made their new neon ball pens very popular. This unconventional approach of promoting a product made them more successful in an international forum. 


What kind of content should you create?

Before even creating contents, you should at least know how an article should be. A good article should contain relevant information about the product you are selling or the service you are offering. The article should be concise, keyword specific, and informative. If you want your readers to browse through your entire article, include some bullet points, short paragraphs, and sub-headers. Basically, contents are of two types: educational and entertaining. Some writers create contents relevant to their website and include a link in the end. In contrast, many writers create business related articles and link those directly to their websites. Based on your preference, you should create contents for your business promotion. 


Targeting customers

This is the most important part of online promotion. If you already have a selected niche, you should always aim at finding the right target audience. For an instance, if you are selling some home improvement products, then your target is to reach millions of those women who are looking for some home improvement products and services. Creating relevant contents, optimizing and highlighting those articles on an online forum or a social media platform will help you in finding the right target audience eventually.