Content Marketing: Why You Need a Strategy

There are many beneficial reasons to put some brawn behind your content marketing efforts

 

Content marketing isn’t necessarily new (social-media posts and blog articles are just two examples), but it’s taken on new significance compared to traditional marketing avenues. That’s why more and more companies are developing new content strategies and hiring content providers.

In the last quarter of 2012, a new buzzword started going around marketing departments and agencies: content marketing.

Consider the statistics this marketing strategy:

 

  • 91 percent of B2B marketers practice content marketing (Content Marketing Institute, Oct. 2012)
  • 86 percent of B2C marketers practice content marketing (Content Marketing Institute, Nov, 2012)
  • In 2013, content marketing became the No. 1 priority for B2B and B2C marketers, with 39 percent of marketers planning to invest heavily in it (Econsultancy/Adobe, Jan, 2013)
  • 79 percent of marketers within marketing organizations are shifting into branded content (Forrester, March 2013)
  •  

Despite all the optimism surrounding content marketing, it’s really nothing new. Content marketing is about becoming a publisher of consumable content within your sector, with the end target of benefitting your business or brand in some way.  Correct me if I’m wrong, but these sound like properly executed infographics, social-media posts and blog articles.

Content Marketing is About Selling—and That’s OK

If your company consistently creates content, be it in the form of a series of white papers or YouTube videos, let me congratulate you. However, the times are changing.

The future of content marketing is understanding that it’s not just about pumping out content. You need to take a step back and take a look at your marketing content strategy. It’s critical that you have a formal content strategy in place because, without it. you’re wasting time producing content for people without any chance of creating any business from it.

And that’s the ultimate truth: You’re creating content in hopes of selling your goods and services. According to research from the Custom Content Council in April 2011, 67 percent of consumers say custom content helps them make better purchasing decisions. Also, 80 percent of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles as compared to ads, according to the Content Marketing Institute in 2012.

Even the Internet super stars are capitalizing on their content: Grumpy Cat is pushing premium coffee drinks and Marutaro wants you to download his paid smartphone app. Still, the catch is that content marketing is not about producing self-congratulatory ads about your products or services. Rather, it’s about engaging or entertaining your prospects, often without any overt reference to products or services.