Content marketing is far from easy. It's hard to create innovative content that attracts an audience. It's hard to create content that effectively tells the story of your brand. It's hard to create content that helps an audience connect with your products or services.

But clearly not for Ryan Reynolds

Ryan spent years trying to pull together financing and studio support for Deadpool, the 2016 movie that was eventually produced for $58 million -- basically bootstrapped, at least relative to the typical superhero movie production budget. (For example, Avengers: Infinity War cost over $300 million to produce.)

The marketing budget for Deadpool was also relatively bare bones, so Reynolds focused on creating content that audiences would not only consume, but would also be eager to share. Inside jokes, off-beat humor, clever trailers--the marketing for Deadpool substituted creativity for heavy spending.

It worked: Deadpool went on to gross over $750 million worldwide, making it the most profitable R-rated film in history. (Proving that while talent matters, persistence is often the real key to success.)

Add in revenue from Deadpool 2 and the franchise has pulled in over $1.5 billion worldwide.

Now he's applying his humor and storytelling skills to promote Aviation Gin, a company he purchased a major stake in last year:

Note there are no calls to action. No promotional offers. No opt-ins, no direct response. It's "just" a cute story, well told.

And yet it still made me want to try the gin. (Which, it turns out, is really good.)

Advertising means creating content you want people to see; it's push. Content marketing is pull: Creating content the audience wants to see -- and will actively seek out on their own. 

Which is how I found this: 

Yep. I wanted to see if Reynolds had created any other videos. So I went looking for it. And liked it.

And shared it with you.

Which is the essence of great content marketing.