While content marketing has been a very hot topic for the last few years, many companies and marketers still do not understand how to use it and why it is so effective. Understanding the importance of content marketing and ways of efficiently using it could be a turning point for your business’ success.
First of all, did you know that approximately 26% of desktop users and 15% of mobile consumers are using ad-blockers to remove any advertisement on websites they are visiting? (ref: Interactive Advertising Bureau study, July 2016). These numbers are huge, and it is a good indication that traditional marketing is losing its power. Paid advertising was THE way to spread brand’s message in online marketing, but not any more. Ad blocking is on the increase, which is great for consumers, but a terrible trend for marketers who rely heavily on paid advertising. Luckily, there is still a way to get cut-through with your message.
For many companies, content marketing has become the secret sauce that enables them to reach those unreachable people. Good content is definitely something that consumers like to interact with, and something that builds authority for a company or a brand.
According to 2015 IBM Digital Experience Survey, 56% of marketers believe that personal content promotes higher engagement rates. People are more likely to remember your brand and engage with your company in a more personal way. This open engagement is beneficial to both consumer and business owner.
Content marketing is also much cheaper than other advertising methods because it utilises ‘free’ marketing channels such as social media and email, and is a long-term strategy that builds on engagement over a period of time. By contrast, traditional marketing techniques tend to be one shot wonders – unless you have very deep pockets – and they stop generating leads almost immediately you end the campaign.
While skim-able content is highly valued, it has been proven time and again, that businesses who produce high-quality, relevant content, enjoy audiences who spend significant amounts of time on their website(s). Nobody spends minutes pouring over an advertisement, but they are increasingly spending minutes reading articles and watching videos – a huge turnabout in an era where attention spans are decreasing to minuscule levels. The truth is, when you deliver what your audience wants, they will stop and consume it. Eventually, this engagement produces higher levels of brand recognition, which in turn results in increased sales and brand loyalty.
Do you know what else is so great about content marketing? It doesn’t end once the customer buys a product or service from you. In fact, that’s often when the really personal content strategy comes into play. You now know quite a bit more about this person and you can talk to that information, with the ultimate aim of creating an active brand loyalist out of them.
If you can find a formula for a winning content strategy that altogether influences people, provide value to them, is engaging and at the same time promotes your brand, then you are on the path to success. When a consumer finds value or joy in a piece of content, there is a good chance that he will share it on his social network or email it to a friend. This action may appear small or insignificant in isolation, but when multiplied by many hundreds or thousands of customers, it could be transformative for your business. What you end up doing is building a ‘community’, based on word of mouth referrals which is seriously powerful.
As you can see, content marketing is a valuable piece of your overall business marketing strategy. However, many marketers still do not understand how it works. Most people think that content marketing is just sending out a few emails or writing a blog every now and again. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Content marketing is far more extensive a strategy than that. If you want your content to reach as many people as possible, then you have to be creative and, most importantly, know your customer inside and out. Know what they want, know what they need, know what they need but aren’t aware of as yet, know their language, know their pet hates, know who they trust and where they gather information from etc. Do not limit yourself to only one marketing channel or style of content. There are many types of content you can create such as videos, webinars, podcasts, visuals, infographics, case studies, whitepapers, printed materials and more. What you have to do is decide what content is suitable for your business to deliver, and what is going to be of most value to your ideal client.
What is your opinion about content marketing? Do you think it adds value to your business?
Let me know you need help building a content marketing strategy for your business.