Content is kale

Remember how a few years ago you’d occasionally encounter a kale Caesar salad or roasted kale dish on a restaurant menu, then all of a sudden it was as though kale was the new black? It became the trendiest vegetable on the plate.  It ventured off the plate and into places it was never meant to be. Now, pundits are saying it’s on its way out as the green darling of the foodie scene. However, kale is still delicious and good for you as part of a healthy diet, just as it was before it became the popular girl in school. It never was anything you should consider a complete diet. It definitely wasn’t a strategy you built your entire life around.

As I was enjoying some homemade kale chips the other day (that’s two food trends in one—DIY and kale, for those keeping track), it occurred to me that content is like kale. It’s always been an important part of any marketing mix, and there are more ways to leverage great content for marketing than ever before. And it became the buzziest marketing topic in a year full of buzz, in possibly the buzziest industry next to fashion and entertainment.

But it’s not the only thing you should include in a balanced marketing strategy. And it’s not even a marketing strategy with a small “s.”

Once it’s no longer the subject of a daily barrage of webinars, email posts, and other, uh CONTENT, and the marketing spotlight has turned to the next Next Big Thing You Must Do, content will go back to being like kale, or Brussels sprouts before it.

Looking back on marketing tactics du jour of the recent past—marketing metrics, mobile, social, interactive, gamification, whatever your CMO said last quarter was “a game changer” that needed to be implemented right now— content is something that is important to executing an overall strategy, but isn’t in and of itself a strategy. It’s also something, like these other marketing trends, that you shouldn’t STOP doing once the trend watchers move on to the next shiny object.


By the way, have you heard that the ice cream sandwich is the new cupcake?