Author: Carter Matthews, Vice President, Empowering Brands
At Empowering Brands, we firmly believe that “useful content should be at the core of your marketing strategy” and we’re certainly not alone. Consider these few stats from the Content Marketing Institute.
- 88% of B2B marketers in North America are using content marketing
- 51% plan to increase their content marketing budget in next 12 months.
- Content marketing leaders receive nearly 8x more site traffic than others.
First, what is content marketing exactly?
Content Marketing is “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
Let’s take a closer look at that definition…
…“that involves the creation and sharing of online material” Not only will you need a plan for creating great content but also how you will share it.
…”not explicitly promote a brand”. To be truly effective at content marketing, you MUST resist the urge to just tell your audience how great your new product is with all its improvements or new features. Of course, product/service benefit is important at the right time, but effective content marketing strategies should be based on a conversation with your audience that addresses their needs, challenges and daily routines.
Remember that friend that is always ready and willing to tell you everything going on with themselves but rarely listening or asking how you’re doing? Well, don’t let your company marketing strategy fall into that trap!
Ok, so why should you invest in content marketing?
There are many benefits to content marketing that we will touch on, but first it’s important to understand the change in today’s consumer (see the image above). People have a strong appetite for good information but a more powerful resistance to the hard sell. We research products before we ever talk to the companies that make them. We want good information to make informed decisions without feeling like we are being “sold”.
In addition, the way people receive and consume content has changed. Information is everywhere and no one has control of the distribution of information. This means that your audience is out there looking for solutions. The more you can be a resource, the more trust and recall you’ll create with your potential customers ultimately resulting in sales and retention.
What tangible benefits can content marketing provide for your business?
It would likely be easier to discuss where content would not be beneficial. Quality content will impact your marketing and your business in many ways, and while we will dive into these in more detail in the near future, here are a few…
- Significantly boosts your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Provides the material for your social media campaigns
- Enhances the value of your website.
- Is critical for conversions for lead generation
- Helps in your PR efforts and builds credibility and relationships in the industry resulting in thought leadership.
When you create quality content, YOU OWN IT! By owning this great content, your company capitalizes on the long-term benefits. Think of your library of authoritative, compelling content as buying up ‘real estate’ online – like a game of Monopoly. You want to own as much of the board as possible!
How do you get started?
- Determine what role content will play in your organizational objectives and within your overall marketing plan.
- Identifying your audience in terms of who would benefit from your content. What are their needs and how are you in a position to address them?
- Content Development. Great content starts with a clear sense of what you have to say. Then determine what existing resources you have that can be used and what will need to be developed (read some tips for generating content).
- Start sharing via social media, blogs, newsletters and content partners, keeping in mind the appropriate content for the channel. Good content should be adaptable to a variety of channels.
- Identify some key performance indicators and track results.
Need Help Getting Started?
Empowering Brands strives to be an extension of our partners marketing departments. If you’re wanting to do more with content marketing, let us help you with an evaluation of your existing content resources and we’ll provide you with a free basic analysis.
About the Author
Carter Matthews, the Vice President, is an alumnus of the University of Alabama with a Bachelors in Communications. With over 15 years experience in advertising sales and marketing services for B2B, Carter brings excitement to new digital advertising products used in social media platforms. Contact Carter: Email – LinkedIn – Twitter – Instagram