Raise your hand if you have ever felt personally victimised by advertisers… That’s what I thought.
Bombarded with advertisements since most of us were old enough to read, our ability to ignore them is now second nature, and the majority blend unceremoniously into the background noise of every day life.
This does not in any way suggest that our susceptibility to marketing has been lost- in fact it’s quite the opposite. Did you know that 20% of an online users’ time is spent on content-led websites (The CMA)? Or that 60%of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site (Content+)?
Content marketing is the smart way to engage with your audience online and helps your business build relationships with consumers on a more personal level. By providing useful, relevant and entertaining content, brands can gain respect from their audience, position themselves as thought leaders in their field and consequently increase consumer loyalty and positively influence purchase decisions.
If your boss is unconvinced of exactly WHY you need a content marketing strategy when your traditional marketing methods are working “just fine” try explaining using the five reasons below- and don’t forget to stress the statistics, quantifiable proof is harder to ignore than even the most well thought out argument.
1. Traditional advertising is so 90s
Advertisers are more often than not seen as lying or twisting the truth to sell their product, a view that has developed over time as the internet has seen the exposure of many product fails and unkept advertising promises. However, when written into a story, given some context and described in a relevant way, consumers begin to believe- as Nielsen has recently found in a study showing 58% of consumers trust editorial content.
What works best about a well executed content marketing strategy, is the fact that businesses can create their OWN audience to advertise and market to. Plus, with around 78% of consumers believing that organisations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships (TMG Custom Media), the brand loyalty that content marketing fosters is invaluable.
2. It’s NOT that expensive, you already have the content!
Some businesses see content marketing as a huge extra cost to the business with no proven ROI- wrong. Did you know that on average, the cost to generate a lead through inbound marketing is about half the average cost of outbound marketing (Hightable)? Or that content creation was ranked as the single most effective SEO technique in 2013 (Marketing Sherpa)?
By taking some of the money from these areas and placing it into the hands of a dedicated content marketing strategist/digital content producer- you can make a really big difference to your company.
A content marketer can take content from a range of sources including existing businesses practices, company information, products, services and corporate documents to create a content marketing strategy that capitalises on the business’ best assets. This strategy will ensure your business is building reciprocal relationships with consumers, increasing the brand visibility online and becoming a noticeable thought leader in its field.
3. It’s a very crowded market
Considering the fact that 9 in 10 organisations market with content (Content Marketing Institute) it is important not only that you hop on board and begin producing your own content if you aren’t already, but that you have an idea in mind of exactly how you will outshine your competitors.
Find your business’ unique value proposition, what you can offer that no one else can- and turn that into shareable and engaging content. With the amount of businesses using mobile-optimized content marketing on the rise, from 15% in 2011 to 33% in 2012 and smaller businesses with less than 10 employees allocating 42% of their marketing budget to content (Content Marketing Institute & Marketing Profs) it is vital that you create a clear strategy with defined KPIs on exactly how you are to achieve your business goals.
4. A goal without a plan is just a wish
Whilst goals are absolutely essential to achieve success, they cannot be achieved without a clear plan/strategy, as mentioned previously. Each business needs to first determine what exactly their goal is and then, how they can best achieve it in the shortest time frame possible.
Just as you would with a traditional marketing approach, it is important to complete a SWOT analysis, to ensure you are aware of your environment as well as your competitors. As 79% of B2B marketers use content marketing to achieve brand awareness goals and 37% of marketing managers believe the most important channel for engaging customers is content-led websites (The CMA) it is clear that a well thought out strategy is needed to cut through the clutter and produce shareable content that will improve the reputation of your brand.
5. If you don’t act now, you WILL be left behind
Did you know that B2B companies with a regular blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who don’t (Social Media B2B)?Or that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing and 86% of B2C marketers use content marketing (Content Marketing Institute)?
These figures alone should be enough to convince your boss that if he/she does not act now, catching up would be almost impossible.
Accompanying the rapid technological advances in the online world are simultaneous advances in digital and content marketing strategy, meaning that in order to stay ahead of the game, content marketers are continuously reading and learning to ensure their business doesn’t miss any crucial developments that could lead them to greater ROI.
The digital marketing landscape changes every day, and if your boss wants to ignore it’s importance, the business WILL fail. Maybe not today, but soon.
Consumers are now active participants in the marketing landscape and as such, businesses need to provide content that is relevant, meaningful and shareable.
Do you have any other convincing statistics or points to add to this list? I would love to read them in the comments.