The context of content
Jim Murray, a man whose prose I enjoy in spite of his location in Canadia (that's not a typo; if Jim's Canadian, he must be from Canadia), re-published a post about how he promotes himself and what he does. In that article, he takes a gentle swipe at content marketing. I think he should have taken more of a smack.
His post dates to 2014. While that may be pleistocene to current "content" marketers, his pitch would have been valid generations ago - back when content was referred to as collateral, product literature, and sales aids.
Then and now
Thirty years ago, I worked with SMBs to refine their use of printed, audio, and video material to a) generate leads, b) overcome objections raised by prospects, and c) meet the specific expectations of a prospects' various influencers (the people who are asked for advice and analysis but aren't a product's end users). One difference, of course, was that, back then, the vendor was in charge of who got what. Another was that the information wasn't fluff.
The materials were designed to persuade, convince, and motivate; not to fill the space that a vendor thinks is empty. The materials, regardless of their form, provided useful information that could help a buyer reach the right decision.
My focus is primarily B2B, but even in B2C, the offers were designed to add value, earn trust, and keep the brand name in a buyer's brain. Think of a car maintenance guide from Mobil or a booklet of recipes from Gold Medal flour. They'd mention their own products, of course, but the guide was still useful if you used Quaker State oil, and the recipes still worked if you baked with Pillsbury flour. Modern content makes it seems as if that's no longer true.
Today, my regret is that "content" marketers have little sense of history. Their content makes me malcontent. That's because much of it is useless promotional drivel composed in a vacuum that's devoid of competition and designed for web spiders, not sentient beings. The briefest glance back to discern how content marketing was born would do wonders. It would help ensure that content provided contentment.