It really is about content. Without good content, you've got nothing. Good content/good marketing, boiled down to its essential component, is just storytelling.
Here's a neat little poster of some of Seth Godin's blog posting What Every Good Marketer Knows. Relevant to this post are:
- Good marketers tell a story
- Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to
- Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut