Content marketing is one of those terms that gets thrown around in the business world without much further explanation. It relates back to all other aspects of marketing it seems, with SEO, ROI, lead generation and many more essential components of success often linked directly to content. Everyone knows it’s important but… what is content marketing?!
Wikipedia will tell you that Content Marketing is any marketing that involves the creation and sharing of media and publishing content in order to acquire and retain customers. But what does this really mean for B2B marketers?
70% of B2B Marketers surveyed say they are creating more content than they did one year ago, with 23% saying that they publish new content daily [Content Marketing Institute, 2014].
Modern day marketers are learning that traditional marketing is becoming less and less effective by the second. 77% of people watch TV while using another device [Moz, 2015] and with the introduction of providers like Netflix and Foxtel IQ, consumers will no longer tolerate sitting through ads. They have become pros at ignoring and tuning out magazine and newspaper advertising and they know how to hide particular content from newsfeeds online in order to filter out the companies they don’t wish to see. The average consumer is now so adept at online “surfing” that they can take in information without a care for banners or buttons, thus making them irrelevant. In fact, the average click-through rate (CTR) of display ads is 0.1% [Moz, 2015], this is has been coined “Banner Blindness”
Cue Content Marketing…
The contemporary consumer has now come to expect a steady stream of relevant and valuable curated content as well as regular and engaging original content from the companies that they respect. This shift towards consumers valuing and engaging with marketers who make the effort to own media rather than rent it has become integrated into every good marketers strategy.
While outbound marketing interrupts consumers, inbound marketing attracts and engages prospects in an organic way. Sponsored content doesn’t guarantee engagement [Moz, 2015].
There are 3 key aspects to successful content marketing:
1. It can and should come in many forms
If you wish to remain relevant you need to create more than just one type of content. You may think that your company creates amazing “how-to” blogs and that you should dedicate all your time to doing that, however, consumers have a short attention span and if you are always providing content to them in the same form you risk losing their interest.
Consider utilising alternative means of presentation for your content, such as; infographics, videos, whitepapers, press releases and so on.
2. It should cover various topics
It’s all well and fine that your company specialises in one specific field, however if the scope of the content your producing is too narrow you risk a) running out of original ideas and repeating yourself, and b) boring your audience.
Ensure you are posting relevant content about and related to your specialty so that your viewers feel they are gaining a deeper insight into what you offer and your company’s beliefs.
3. It needs to be made available on multiple platforms
In order to achieve optimal reach with your content it is important that you make it available through a range of marketing mediums.
Just posting updates to your company’s website is not likely to steer a huge amount of traffic to the page. Sharing is key! Once new content is made available, let your audience know via social media platforms and newsletters so that they are reminded of you and directed to continue consuming the information you can provide for them.
Marketers need to think in terms of delivering an experience that will make people want to come back and share your content with friends. Do this by turning your qualitative and quantitative data into quality content. If you provide a myriad of information, published to multiple platforms in varying forms you are well on your way to keeping today’s fickle readers, watchers and listeners engaged.