Content Marketing: Identifying the Basic Components and Dimensions in order to Provide Conceptual Model

Document Type : مقالات پژوهشی


1 Tehran University

2 university of tehran


As traditional advertising has become expensive and the customers' behaviors have changed, manufacturing businesses and services have adopted the newest marketing trends such as content marketing. As this field is new, its aspects are not fully known. For this reason, the present study aims at identifying the main components of content marketing with the aim of presenting a conceptual model to fully understand it.
The purpose of this meta-analysis research is to determine components and basic aspects of content marketing in order to provide a conceptual model and understand its concept.
This qualitative research used the Sandelowski and Barroso's seven-stage meta-synthesis methods to investigate the literature systematically. The research populations included all scientific sources related to principles and aspects of content marketing including 652 published sources from 12 scientific databases in the period of 2008 to 2016 for the English-language and 2008 to 2016 for the Persian-language. The screening process was performed based on Critical Appraisal Skills Program (CASP) while 52 sources were selected for the further analysis and investigation.
The results of the seven-stage meta-synthesis showed that in addition to the desired components of content production, attention should be paid to its format, media type, and measuring indicators. Based on the seven stages of meta-synthesis, the content marketing conceptual model is a three-layered model consisting of category, conceptual, and codes 72 main identified components of which were categorized in four categories including intrinsic elements generating content (valuable, related, reliable, entertaining, and exquisite), formation elements (common use, inexpensive, shareable, simultaneous use), medium elements (interactive, usability), and effectiveness elements (consume, share, producing lead generation, sale).
Results showed that to implement content marketing, many aspects and components should be considered in producing, distributing, and the measuring of the content effectiveness. Valuable, relevant, entertaining and educational concepts in content production were the most abundant and important. The presented content model can be used as a basis for future research in creating tools and practical guidelines for content manufactures and marketers. Due to the importance of content marketing, the results of this study can be used not only in identifying and understanding the key components of content marketing and implementing it, but also in measuring its effectiveness. Finally, the evaluation of these components is recommended to be conducted by the other researchers as well.


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