As more and more savvy searchers and shoppers make the internet their primary source of information when they wish to address a need or want, digital marketers are coming to understand the need to place content marketing at the heart of their digital strategy.
There is a growing recognition that the traditional push or outbound methods of marketing e.g. advertising, direct mail, tradeshows etc. are not having the required impact, people are fed up with being “interrupted” or shouted at and are getting pretty good at filtering out all of this noise.
A recent content marketing survey report by Econsultancy and sponsored by Outbrain finds that 64% of the 1300 digital marketing professionals surveyed agree that content marketing is becoming more important and is being viewed as a discipline in its own right.
Highlights from the findings reported on the Econsultancys blog include:
- Over 90% of respondents believe that content marketing will become more important over the next 12 months.
- Only 38% of in-house marketers have a content marketing strategy in place
- Nearly three quarters (73%) of digital marketers agree that ‘brands are becoming publishers’.
- Less than half of companies have dedicated budgets (34%) or individuals dedicated (46%) to content marketing.
- Increased engagement is the most commonly cited objective for content marketers, with 52% of in-house marketers and 58% of agency marketers listing this as one of their top three business objectives.
So what constitutes content?
Content that is aligned to a searchers, industry, interests and position within the buying cycle helps pull visitors through to those relevant websites. This is an important point as people who visit a website via great content they have discovered will have a more positive attitude towards your offerings than any prospects driven there through traditional marketing means.
Examples of content include:
- White papers
- Application notes
- Case studies
- Twitter feeds
- Curated content
A major advantage that this type of content has is longevity. It has a longer shelf life and is cheaper to produce than traditional marketing campaigns. What’s more the search engines love it and as you produce more content you should see bigger increases in visitors to your website.
Keep the rule of 5 at the forefront of your planning
Don’t forget that content can be repurposed and recycled, you can tweet about your eBook, the eBook can become a slidedeck and uploaded to Slideshare, a voiceover can be added and uploaded to YouTube, the voiceover can be turned into a podcast, extracts of the eBook can become Blog posts or enewsletter articles.
A key takeaway is to always plan upfront and reuse any content you produce in at least 5 different ways (the rule of 5). Great content can differentiate your offering from the competition, help you gain credibility in your marketplace and position you as a “thought leader”
But, content marketing isn’t a magic bullet that will solve all of your business issues. It’s another addition to the marketing toolkit that will contribute positively when used correctly as part of your marketing strategy. Great content isn’t going to sell poor products or services but content marketing will help to create a more level playing field between the SME’s and their larger competitors. You no longer have to negotiate (or pay) to get your content published in a magazine or web portal. The web and new web tools have allowed you to become a publisher.
If you’ve been in a situation where your content has had a major bearing on a sales success, let me know by adding a comment below.
Find out More
Rame Marketing can work with you on the 7 key stages of the content marketing process or just on the stages most relevant to your needs. If you would like to have further discussions on how content marketing can help your business, get in touch. Contact us today to find out more on 01803 413481 or email [email protected]