“Content Marketing is the future.” If you’re in the marketing space, you’ve probably heard this. Ever stopped to wonder why though?
Before you’re overwhelmed with numbers, reasons, and lists, let’s understand what Content Marketing really is. Content marketing is the process of developing, executing, and delivering the content needed to create, nurture, and grow a company’s customer base.
Many cite the 1895 launch of John Deere’s ‘The Furrow’ as the first example of content marketing, making the strategy 120 years old this year. And if that is to be true, this strategy should surely have been mastered by now. Yet, not only do we struggle to capitalize on it, there are still a few who shy away from it.
In the past, people all over the world have been apprehensive about content marketing. There is an array of reasons for it being that way.
- Barriers to entry, that made this space almost ‘untouched’ for a long time.
- The cost and time that genuine content marketing required were way too high for a concept with an extremely low adoption rate.
It was only as recent as the early 2000’s when content marketing became an accepted and practiced concept. This too came around only because of those big brands that indulged in early on and rode the wave of technology and saw generations of audiences – engrossed.
But, in the era of the digital marketing agency, content marketing has taken a turn. Everyone is getting on this train. You could be in any vertical, indulging in peer-to-peer, C2C, B2C or B2B marketing, one thing we must now accept is that ‘Content is King’. 97% of those in the b2b industry use b2b content marketing strategies and 9 out of 10 organisations indulge in content marketing* . B2b content marketing strategy is picking up incredible steam, to the extent that 70% of marketers admit that they are creating way more content that they did create just a year ago**. Infact, even back in 2010 – 88% of all brands used content marketing. All of these stats suggest that content marketing is maturing. It is now used by organisations to attain various objectives such as –
- Lead Generation
- To be perceived as ‘Thought Leaders’
- Acquire Customers
- Retain Customers
Being present on social media and using digital platforms are now almost prerequisites for individuals and organisations in this day and age. It would only make sense if digital avenues are the primary and dominating avenue for content marketing. This is a scenario we must all take advantage of. Facebook is the primary avenue for B2C content marketing(opted for by 68% content marketers) while LinkedIn (opted for by 33% marketers) overtakes facebook (opted for by 31% marketers) for B2B content marketing.
Here are a few tips to ensure you make the most of content marketing-
- Address Opportunities Across Buyer’s Journey
Content marketing now plays a major role in not only acquiring customers, but also in retaining them. Now streamlining and understanding what, why, and how of content marketing, the Indian marketers are able to address opportunities across the buyer’s journey to connect and engage.
- Social Media, Blogs, Newsletters dominate the marketplace
Content marketing avenues like newsletters, blogs, and social media dominate the marketplace. Social & content go hand-in-hand and are deeply dependent & interlinked.
- Multi-Faceted Nature
Content marketing has multiple benefits. Having a strategy that caters to just one need is not only flawed, but also counterproductive. Ensure that your strategy ticks several objectives ranging from customer acquisition to retention and lead generation to traffic generation
- Use Infographics and Visual Media
As all b2b marketers, using data to reach out and ‘convince’ customers is a strategy that is tried and tested! With visual content on the rise, faster than ever, one must remember to use both these mediums to engage users.
- Encourage User-Generated Content
One must now go beyond the organisation and agency to create content. The most effective and cost-efficient way to do that is providing recognition and letting users be heard by promoting, sharing and rewarding user-generated content
Now you not only know what content marketing is or why it’s picking up, with these points you can try to up your game as a content marketer or even carry forward the conversation that started with “Content Marketing is the future”.