The marketing strategy that is the gift that keeps on giving
Content marketing. As a business owner or CEO, you’ve probably heard the term, but aren’t sure whether it will do all it promises. You may not even know exactly what it is. But if I told you that content marketing costs 62% less and produces three times the number of leads of your outbound marketing efforts (such as newspaper adverts, commercials, radio ads, and so on), you’ll realise the need to understand why content marketing is taking over the world.
Content marketing – reaching out to customers along the buyer journey
The Content Marketing Institute describes content marketing as:
“a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
The journey made by someone (an individual or business) to buying can be summarized in four stages:
- Awareness, showing there is a solution to a problem or need
- Research, discovering more about the solution and options available
- Consideration, comparing different solutions to ensure quality and value
- Purchase, making the final decision and committing to purchase
Traditional outbound marketing techniques interact with customers only when they are already three quarters of the way along their buying journey. They are already either considering making a purchase or have decided to make a purchase.
Content marketing introduces your company, its products and services at the very beginning of the buyer journey. And that puts you a big step ahead of your competition.
Content marketing – the power behind growth on a levelled playing field
I expect you’ve heard of Mint.com, the online financial management company. It’s big now, but it didn’t used to be. In fact, when it launched in 2006, it was an extremely small fish in a pond full of financial sharks (big banks and credit card companies among them).
A key piece of founder Aaron Patzer’s growth strategy was to concentrate marketing efforts on content. As its reputation for providing informative and entertaining blogs, infographics and videos grew, so did its user base. It now has more than 2 million registered users. A large, growing, and loyal customer base.
When it is done well, content marketing allows small- and medium-sized enterprises to level the playing field. They get to compete with big competitors on equal terms, without needing to spend big.
Even the biggest brands fuel sales with content marketing
Great results from a content marketing strategy aren’t limited to SMEs. Think of GE, and you probably think of an antiquated company in a boring sector. Yet it has around 70,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel, more than 800,000 followers on Google+, and a blog that receives thousands of visits every single day. Total traffic across all its social media accounts reached 20 million in 2017.
“That kind of ROI requires a huge content marketing operation,” I hear you say. Yet in a recent interview with Forbes, GE Editor-in-Chief Tomas Kellner said:
“We are a tight and frugal operation. I’m the editor, and internally I’m working on GE Reports with two colleagues on the communications team. Externally, we have a network of freelance journalists and videographers who help up develop stories and video.”
10 reasons content marketing is taking over the world
Here are a few astounding statistics about content marketing:
- 91% of B2B brands blog regularly (CMI)
- According to LinkedIn research, the top content marketing strategies are blogging, social media, and case studies
- Curata found that 74% of companies say that content marketing is increasing their marketing teams’ lead quantity and quality
- 9 out of 10 B2B buyers say that online content has a moderate to major effect on their buying decisions (Lenati)
These are just a few of the incredible numbers proving content marketing is the number one marketing strategy in the modern, informed world.
Here are 10 benefits of content marketing – the reasons why savvy organizations put content at the heart of their marketing strategy:
- It’s cheaper than other marketing strategies and techniques
- It has a global reach
- It introduces you, your organization, your products and services at the very beginning of the buyer journey
- It helps you build authority and credibility
- It builds a large and loyal customer base
- Evergreen content works for you from the day it is published to the day you take it down
- It encourages communication and conversation on social media via sharing and commenting
- It provides incredible value for the customer and your organization
- It creates awareness, building credibility, trust, and loyalty
- It supports your other marketing techniques
Isn’t it time you focused your time and effort on content marketing? What strategies are producing the best returns for you, and which are underperforming? Let us know in the comments.
Are your website visitor numbers and organic visitor growth disappointing? Get in touch: