If You Haven’t Started Using Content Marketing …
The term content marketing has been hot in marketing circles for the past five years. Yet our Marketing Communication LinkedIn group has an active thread titled “Is Content Marketing BS?” (And some marketers think it is.)
Content marketing is valuable and here to stay. It has become a critical component of the marketing mix for big companies, both in B2C and B2B. Brands like IBM, Cisco, ADP and American Express rely on content marketing for lead generation, lead nurturing and brand building.
And that means it will work for the small to midsize enterprise as well.
So, if you’re not using content marketing in 2017, it’s time to start. Content marketing is effective for the following reasons:
- Ad blockers – eMarketer estimates that 26.3% of internet users in the US, or 1 in 5, will use an ad blocker, and 63.2 million desktop or laptop users will block ads.
- Engagement – Most marketers believe that good content increases brand recall, and that personalized content promotes higher engagement rates.
- Conversion – The Content Marketing Institute says that content marketing adopters have conversion rates that are six times higher than those who don’t use content marketing.
- ROI – While creating quality content has an upfront cost, it typically has a much longer lifespan than traditional or online ads, thus producing a higher marketing ROI. @DemandMetric says that content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and generates 3x as many leads.
So there you have it. Content marketing, if done right, is very effective. But therein lies the caveat: if done right.
What does that mean?
Let’s start with a definition. Content marketing describes a strategic approach of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to specific audiences with the goal of inviting a specific action.
What’s new about that? Content marketing has been around since the beginning of advertising. But the birth of Web 2.0 and social media allowed anyone to become a publisher, removing the formerly substantial barriers to entry. Prior to the Internet, content marketers were forced to use print, audio and video through tightly-controlled distribution channels.
So how is it done right? Well, it depends on the quality of the content. And how well you distribute it.
It’s not done right if you create great content but nobody sees it. Or worse, if you create poor content that everyone sees! This can turn people off and damage your brand.
But if it’s done right, it can transform a business. Ever heard of Dollar Shave Club? Unilever bought them for $1 billion last year. They sell razors. And this video helped catapult them into the marketplace in 2012:
Founder Michael Dubin (in the video) spent $4,500 on the video that generated 9.5 million views, 23,000 followers on Twitter and 76,000 Facebook fans. Oh, and 12,000 new customers in 2 days.
Here are three plans to help you get started: