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You hear a lot these days about content marketing. Is it a buzz phrase, or a real marketing tool?

Turns out content marketing is not new -- it's been around for years, and has taken on many names over the years: custom publishing, custom media, customer media, customer publishing, member media, private media, branded content, corporate media, corporate publishing, corporate journalism and branded media.

But what is content marketing and why do you need to know about it?

The Content Marketing Institute defines it this way: "Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience - with the objective of driving profitable customer action."

And why do you need to know about content marketing? Take a look at this Marketo infographic, comparing content marketing with advertising as a sales tool, to learn more.