Click-through rhetoric : genre and networks in content marketing
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Through interviews with content marketers and analysis of examples of their work, this dissertation presents an exploratory study of content marketing: the creation of valuable, free-to-users content in order to increase desired business outcomes. Using insights from rhetorical genre studies and workplace communication studies, this dissertation examines the ways that participants performed and conceptualized their work, how they produced and networked pieces of content together into persuasive content ecologies, and how they defined and measured their success with both quantitative and qualitative feedback. This study finds that content marketers must navigate a tension between selling and not selling, a tension that emerges both as a defining characteristic of content marketing and as a locus for change in marketing. This dissertation thus addresses a gap in scholarly focus by providing implications that can be combined with the literature as a foundation for future studies in content marketing.