By @SimonCocking review of Content: The Atomic Particle of Marketing – The definitive guide to content marketing strategy by Rebecca Lieb, published by Kogan Page, priced £19.99

Content, in all its forms, is the single most critical element of any marketing campaign. Finding a successful equilibrium between content marketing and content strategy is difficult, but essential. Content – The Atomic Particle of Marketing goes beyond superficial descriptions of how to produce engaging social media content to offer the results of many years of deep quantitative research, and hours of interviews with senior marketers at some of the world’s leading brands.

Written by a recognised industry thought-leader, Content – The Atomic Particle of Marketing explores how content functions in the broader framework of all marketing, as well as organizational concerns and IT decision making. It demonstrates the value content brings not only to “owned” media initiatives, such as a company website or blog, but also the essential role content plays in all other marketing initiatives, from social media to advertising to offline channels.

From a slightly selfish point of view this was a great book to read. Why? Because it shows that there is still great value placed on those of us who can write, analyse, and then create digestible insights for others to read / listen / watch. In some studies about which jobs are most likely to be automated first, writing or at least journalism has not always fared well. It’s certainly true that automated programs can now create at least comparable, if not better reviews of football matches, and annual financial reports. However the question is then whether this replaces humans or rather nudges them further up the pole in terms of producing more creative work and less of the drudge type content. Ok, rant over!

This book walks you through how to create relevant, good, effective content as part of your companies marketing strategies. Again in the context of people saying that traditional media is dead and journalism is a dying trade, it can be argued that it is always a thin line between marketing and journalism. Sure we can think of many holier than thou opinion columnists for national dailies who would declare that their writing is free from any such taints, until you see them opening a particular supermarket the week after they have written about, coincidentally, the same outlet.

This book is organised and systematic in examing how to put together a coherent and effective digital marketing strategy, looking at the logistical issues, the IT demands you need to consider, and the processes to be as effective as possible. It’s a useful book, and even for those writing pure content with no commercial factors in play, it still offers useful insights in terms of considering how to ensure your work is seen by as many people as possible.

Contextual marketing: The rules, risks and rewards, by Rebecca Lieb 

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