This post from Renee Warren is a bit dated now but it is a perfect walk through of the power of content marketing.
Content isn’t just king. It’s the entire monarchy. Let’s be honest: it takes an entire palace to build the relationships required for your startup to thrive in a competitive market made up of smarmy sales tactics and reluctant consumers.
Relationships rely on honest, relevant, and respectful communication. The content you create and curate as part of your content marketing strategy is your first line of communication. Providing and parlaying valuable information about your product or industry in a way that respects your consumers’ preferences for consumption is the way into their hearts.
Don’t just take it from us. On average, 76 percent of shoppers felt closer and more positive about a company after reading their custom content. Consumers have effectively kiboshed traditional marketing as they have become smarter and more cautious about their buying decisions. Wary of banner ads and spam emails, consumers are opting for and expecting a more personalized buying experience.
Millennials, the bread-and-butter consumers of the tech world and up-and-coming goldmine for retailers, are especially difficult to win over. Not surprisingly, “Millennials are willing to share good advertising, but dislike when advertising feels deceptive.”
More than ever, content marketing is taking its place as the key to building the relationships that connect with and convert your consumers.
So, what does the content marketing landscape look like today? Here’s 22 facts and stats you need to know to gain your competitive edge in the world of content domination, conveniently broken up into four chapters:
The Broad Scope of Content Marketing:
If you doubt that creating stellar content can really help in your industry, consider this thought from expert Jay Baer: “What matters is that big companies are embracing big content, and in so doing they are changing the expectations of YOUR customers.” Why not lead the charge in your industry? Let’s get an overview of what content marketing is really all about:
- Marketers are Spending BILLIONS
Marketing teams were forecasted to spend 135 billion dollars on new digital marketing content this year. [Jeff Bullas]
- The More Tactics, The Merrier
B2B marketers use an average of 13 content marketing tactics — from social media to e-newsletters and video to blogs — with 70 percent currently working on creating more engaging and higher quality content. [Content Marketing Institute]
- Email, dead? Hardly!
Every minute users send 204 million email messages, making it the most popular way to share content. [Domo]
- Two Words for Traditional Marketing: Slow and Expensive
Content marketing costs 62 percent less and generates roughly three times as many leads as traditional marketing. [DemandMetric]
- SEM is the King of Paid Distribution
If you’re looking to spend a few dollars, B2B and B2C marketers rate search engine marketing as their most effective paid method to promote and distribute content. [Content Marketing Institute]
It doesn’t take much convincing before startups and small businesses realize that content marketing is a strategy they need to have. Now, where to start in developing the tactics to implement? Let’s take a look at some of the trends readers and prospects have proven true:
- We All Live in a Very Social World
There will be an estimated 2.13 billion social network users around the globe by 2016. [Statista]
- Marketers Prefer Content Creation
On average, content marketers are dividing their content into three areas: (61%) created, (27%) curated, (12%) syndicated. [Curata]
- An Infographic is Worth a Thousand Words
Infographic usage amongst B2B marketers increased from 51 percent last year to 62 percent this year. Here’s why: humans are highly visual learners. Engagement increases by at least 37 percent when copy is accompanied by graphics. [Business 2 Community]
- LinkedIn and Facebook Lead in Content Distribution
94 percent of B2B marketers use LinkedIn to distribute content, making it the social media platform used most often, while 58 percent of B2C marketers rated Facebook as the most effective marketing platform overall.[Content Marketing Institute]
- Social Media is Still On the Rise
All social media platforms experienced some level of increase in usage this year, with Instagram and Google+ gaining the most (raising approximately 17 and 13 percent, respectively). LinkedIn, while still very popular, did not increase. [Content Marketing Institute]
- Embrace the Blog
Companies with an active blog generate 67 percent more leads per month.[InsideView]
- Inbound Marketing Generates Leads
Inbound marketing delivers 54 percent more leads than traditional outbound marketing. [Jeff Bullas]
Acknowledging your organization’s biggest challenges can determine the tactics that will work best in your content marketing success just as much, if not more, than knowing its strengths. Here are some of the hurdles being faced in the world of content marketing:
- B2B Requires Brand Awareness
84 percent of B2B marketers listed brand awareness as the key content marketing goal for their business, with “lead generation” coming in as a close second. [Content Marketing Institute]
- Sad, But True: The Majority of Created Content is Wasted
Approximately 60 – 70 percent of B2B content that is created is never used because the topic is irrelevant to the target audience. [Inbound Writer]
- Webpage Views Amount to Mere Seconds
17 percent of pageviews last less than 4 seconds, and a mere 4 percent of pageviews hold a reader’s attention for 10 minutes or more. [Statistic Brain]
- Content Marketing Professionals are in Demand
More B2B marketers say they are challenged with finding trained content marketing professionals this year (32%) than last year (10%). [Content Marketing Institute]
- More Content Does NOT Equal More Web Traffic
Less than 20 percent of a company’s website content drives 90 percent of its traffic, and only 0.5 percent of a website’s content drives more than 50 percent of its traffic. [InboundWriter]
- ROI is Tough to Track
Most marketers have a tough time tracking ROI, with only 21 percent of B2B marketers and 23 percent of B2C marketers listing that they are successful at tracking the return on investment (ROI) of their content marketing program. [Content Marketing Institute]
Speaking of ROI… measuring the effectiveness of your content is essential in determining if your marketing and business goals are being met. Easier said than done, but when over 25 percent of an organization’s marketing budget is spent on content marketing on average, measurement is worth a shot. Here’s what’s marketers are doing currently:
- Web Traffic as an Indicator of Success
60 percent of B2B marketers use web traffic to measure their success.[DemandMetric]
- Marketers Measuring Pageviews Over Duration
69 percent of marketers are using pageviews/unique visitors to measure the success of their content, while less than half are examining the time the user actually spends on the site. [Contently]
- Effectiveness Depends on Documented Strategies
60 percent of B2B marketers that have a documented content marketing strategy rate themselves as highly effective, compared to the 32 percent with a verbal strategy. [Content Marketing Institute]
- Testimonials = The Bee’s Knees in Content Marketing
Customer testimonials yield an 89 percent effectiveness rating for content marketing. [Jeff Bullas]
Capitalize on Content
This is no bandwagon you need to jump on; no passing fad. Business success depends on successful relationships, and relationships require communication. Content marketing is your in with your customers.
Content marketing has usurped the traditional world of marketing. The most effective content marketers are using the latest statistics to target a clearly defined audience with relevant and consistent content.