Recently I was reading up on the topic of content marketing and how it is affecting the marketing efforts of organizations around the world. I have been a fan of content marketing for quite some time believing that it is better to provide value with a message rather than just a fancy looking ad slick. Personally I have always responded better to companies who try to educate me on how a product or solution will fill my need and then show me how their product or solution is the best at solving that need. Content marketing, or getting a message out by providing a piece of content valued by a marketplace consumer to attract that consumer to your offering, works great as a low risk option for consumers and marketers.
Content marketing by definition, is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action (contentmarketinginstitute.com, n.d.). Why is content marketing so important? Think about how many times you fast forward through commercials on your television DVR. Consider how many piece of junk mail you get each day, not to mention the junk email that is delivered to your inbox. Content marketing is all about providing valuable content that people look forward to receiving. Its goal is to attract new and retain existing customers. Messages can be anything from tips and product information to steps on changing consumer behavior. A content marketing strategy helps an organization build thought leadership through a consistent effort in developing its own library of wholly owned media elements.
- 80 percent of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement.
- 70 percent say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company
- 60 percent say that company content helps them make better product decisions
Those are some very powerful numbers when thinking about how consumers feel about good, reliable, content. Marketers who are using content marketing successfully are trying to get individuals to move their organizations communications out of the junk category and into the trusted source category. Content marketing helps take consumers from a visitor standpoint to becoming a brand evangelist. The infographic (seen above or here) developed by the Content Marketing Institute does a very nice job illustrating this progression. For some examples on content marketing and how it can be used, you can download a free ebook here.
Of course, a big concern with many marketers is how this wonderful content will be created. They are going to be wondering how they will get one more to do on an already over taxed team. Fast Company released an article recently listing five ways to have a great content marketing program without creating a single word. Not surprisingly it centered around finding third party sources of content whether that be partnerships or content curation. While this is sometimes costly, it is a good option for organizations that do not have the resources to develop content internally. So where do you fall? Does your organization use content marketing already? What kind of success are you having? Reply to this blog and share some results (if your organization says it’s OK of course).
Some quick links for your reference:
Content Marketing Examples
Content Marketing vs. Social Media
Content Marketing Research
Content Marketing Institute Framework
Fast Company, 5 Ways to Craft a Killer Content Marketing Strategy Without Creating and Content