The Anatomy of Content Marketing

The Anatomy of Content Marketing

It’s been a couple of years since the nice folks at ContentPlus in the UK created a popular and frankly, pretty awesome, infographic on the anatomy of content marketing [1].

The infographic compares the content marketing workflow to the human body, showing how it works to boost your presence online. It’s pretty neat, and since two years in the real world is like two decades in digital marketing a lot has changed since it was first published. That’s why it’s probably a good time to re-visit this content marketing infographic and give it a little update!

Start at the Top

Let’s start right at the beginning with the brain. Here the anatomy of content marketing infographic lists a number of content pieces that brands can use to show their thought leadership. These include blogs, infographics, white papers, ebooks, podcasts, case studies and guides. These items are still today important parts of the content marketing strategy, but online marketing has moved on, so we think there’s more to add.

For one thing, there’s video. It’s a medium that helps customers feel more connected with the brands they love. Whether you’re talking Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches or Evian’s Dancing Baby, branded video went viral in 2013 [2]. Video is also an important way to show thought leadership by creating explainer or other videos which you can use in different contexts.

Long form content was highlighted then and probably should be double so today. White papers and case studies are key parts of long form content, and in 2014 online magazines also have to be part of the mix. And let’s not forget that Google has dramatically increased the importance of long form content  to build authority. And there is also LinkedIn, which has just opened on-site blogging to all.

Word of Mouth

Still on the head section, let’s look at the mouth. The infographic shows that one of the top three reasons people follow brands on social media is because of interesting content. In other words, quality content is a must! And when you have your content, you need to use social media to tell people about the information you have to share. Since the publication of this infographic, a couple more social sites have been in the spotlight for social sharing. If we had to update, we’d definitely add Pinterest and Instagram to the social media mix. And it’s important to think about how content will look in the widening array of social media apps.

Reach and Revenue

Moving to the arms, the anatomy of content marketing infographic talks about reach and revenue. It’s got some interesting stats such as the fact that having a company blog increases visitor numbers by 55% and inbound links by 97%. It also says that companies that blog get four times as many indexed pages and almost double the number of indexed links.

anatomy of content -2

Next to the blog, it is vital to bring all other existing content on-line. Think annual reports, brochures, training manuals and more. All these will, like blogs, give you more indexed pages and more indexed links!

Today it’s also important to think about mobile users who are huge consumers of online content and expect it to meet their needs. It’s no longer a matter of having a content strategy but a mobile content marketing strategy. Check out our post on how to get started with mobile content marketing for help with this.

A Firm Footing

According to the infographic, social media does the marketing legwork for you. That’s true, and these days it also has to be mobile optimized.

An interesting statistic – but not surprising – is that 70% of customers want to get to know companies via their content rather than via ads. That’s why, as the infographic says, an integrated marketing approach has quality content at its heart, especially with today’s content deluge.


That word “integrated” is important, because in 2014 no integrated content marketing strategy can ignore the social, local, mobile trifecta. That means looking at local SEO, making sure your content is shareable and is also mobile adapted to that whether users prefer short snippets or long form content, you deliver what they want in the way that best suits them.

The anatomy of content marketing infographic is focused on blogging as the centerpiece of a content marketing strategy, but a today’s content strategy is much broader, including a wider range of content for a wider array of contexts. It’s about having a holistic and comprehensive content strategy connecting brands with their customers through content that is informative or entertaining, interactive, shareable and above all mobile ready.


[1] The anatomy of content marketing infographic

[2] Top Viral Brand Videos of 2013


photo credit (cc): Neil. Moralee

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