There’s no denying the fact that the world has turned digital. In fact, as of 2017, there were roughly 3.57 billion internet users worldwide or nearly half of the entire population. What’s more, that number has grown by as many as 193 million people from 2016. That is no small difference, mind you.
In any case, the trend tells us in the world of marketing is that content marketing has become an essential tool for marketers worldwide. Roughly 86% of B2C companies and about 91% of B2B organizations are using it nowadays.
The main reason why so many marketers are using content marketing over all other forms of marketing is that the internet is what it is. Content marketing sits as the foundation of every other type of digital marketing out there such as email, inbound, and social media marketing, among others.
What’s more, people are becoming somewhat tired of the traditional and sometimes intrusive advertising tactics such as TV and radio ads, spam email, printed adverts in magazines and newspapers, billboards, pop-ups, etc.
Statistics show us that the average person in the Western world is being exposed to anywhere in between 4,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. And if we think about it, these numbers may not be that farfetched.
From the moment we open our phones in the morning to our ride to work and back again, we encounter plenty of adverts along the way. As no surprise, most of us have become immune to these traditional forms of advertisement. It has gotten to a point where the more ads a company generates, the less effective they are.
Here’s Content Marketing
In what can only be described as a win-win situation, more companies are turning away from the traditional way of doing things and are going for content marketing, instead.
The reason why this is good news is that content marketing doesn’t work like the others. Instead of bombarding you at every corner with all sorts of ads, content marketing is all about useful, relevant, and valuable content in an attempt at drawing in people. It’s one of those rare cases nowadays where quality trumps quantity.
Instead of being intrusive, content marketing works by taking a more personalized approach to the issue, aiming to solve people’s problems and create long-lasting relationships over time, instead of going for a hard sell.
What is Content Marketing?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, “content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
The definition perfectly summarizes what content marketing is all about. What’s left for us to do here is to determine what content is, in this context.
Well, as the title of this article would suggest, a blog is made almost entirely out of content. Nevertheless, a blog is but a small part of what content marketing is. In short, content is pretty much every piece of information that you create for your customer’s consumption.
It means that content comprises of blogs, articles, emails, eBooks, whitepapers, videos, social media posts, infographics, web content, landing pages, images, podcasts, and everything else in between.
But despite its diversity, many businesses see content marketing as just posting a blog post once or twice a week, hoping for the best. And while blogs do have their contribution and offer customers a good idea about your products, your business, and your own company culture, as well as the useful information they provide, they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content marketing.
If you are not already using video in your content marketing strategy, you are missing out. Video content is quickly becoming the dominant force on the internet. Forecasts predict that by 2021, over 80% of all internet consumer traffic will comprise of videos. That accounts for roughly 5 million minutes of video crossing the network every second.
Also, 81% of today’s businesses use video as a marketing tool – up from 63%, one year prior, in 2017. According to 97% of these, video content has increased customer understanding of their products and services. Over 76% have said that video has helped them grow both sales and traffic, while 81% of customers have said that they were convinced to buy a product after seeing a brand’s video.
The reason why videos are so successful is that they are versatile, easily-shareable across multiple channels, they provide easy-to-understand content, they’re visual and highly entertaining – at least in comparison to their written counterparts.
How-to videos are highly sought after by consumers, especially millennials and the younger generation. Behind the scene videos, on the other hand, give your brand a more human look, while video testimonials provide you with credibility.
Email, eBooks, White Papers, and Case Studies
While blog posts and videos are great at generating traffic to your website, they are, however, short-term tools used to attract potential customers. As part of a broader content marketing strategy, you will need to use other means such as white papers, eBooks, and case studies as high-value content to separate those who are genuinely interested in buying your products.
These can all be used as lead generators by giving them away in exchange for that person’s email address. Unlike the typical blog post, eBooks and white papers need to be longer and provide a highly-detailed description and a precise value proposition for your product or service. Anyone who is willing to download this information is interested in what you have to offer and can be considered a lead, by any measure.
By far, the best means of promoting your content is via social media. It’s also here that you build your audience, create your brand’s reputation, and direct potential buyers to your website.
With this in mind, it’s important to remember that every social media post, every article you share, and every comment you write is still considered content, that is part of your content marketing strategy.
Do not be fooled into thinking that blogs are not that important in the grand scheme of things, because they are. They are the cornerstone of any successful content marketing strategy. Nevertheless, blogs alone do not have the necessary impact to generate leads, let alone see a sale through to the end. For that to happen, you will also need the other elements presented here.
If you feel you’re up to the task and want to be part of a team that creates some of the best content, do not hesitate to contact us.