The marketing landscape has changed dramatically in the past decade or so, with the most major shift taking place in the movement toward inbound campaigns. As opposed to outbound marketing techniques, inbound strategies are built to attract potential consumers to a company’s website or social media page with educational and entertaining material.
Content marketing isn’t a new phenomenon, but it has gained huge popularity in recent years.
This is the essence of content marketing, perhaps the most popular inbound tactic adopted thus far. As an infographic from Demand Metric recently pointed out, 90 percent of organizations use some form of content to market their products and services. However, far fewer companies take a strategic and measured approach to this style of marketing.
Here is a look at a few must-know facts and figures about content marketing, and some thoughts on how today’s brands can leverage content in a more tactical manner.
1. Custom content always wins: Much like how personalized emails and social media posts are so important in today’s outbound marketing methods, content marketers also need to recognize the power of custom blogs, images and videos to intrigue audiences. The Demand Metric infographic revealed that 78 percent of CMOs view custom content – created specifically for the brand – as a key part of future marketing efforts.
This means that companies must invest in creating content that speaks to audiences in a more targeted, context-specific way, as this will evoke a better response and inspire return readership. Marketers should practice the idea of creating a conversation with readers, as a “monologue approach to marketing and communications” does not yield results, according to Vaasu Gavarasana of Asia Content Marketing Association in a piece for Marketing Interactive.
2. B2B and B2C efforts are alike: In traditional outbound marketing strategy, communicating to consumers required a very different approach than reaching out to businesses, as evidenced in the types of channels and tactics used in each. When it comes to content marketing, on the other hand, the formats and methods utilized for B2C marketing are actually quite similar to those used in B2B, and marketers may find that their content development efforts yield value on both fronts.
For instance, a brand that targets individual consumers and resellers with wholesale deals can rely on much of the same content to drive its inbound marketing strategy. This overlap allows companies to develop much more consistent and streamlined content to readers. As Gavarasana pointed out to Marketing Interactive, this should be a top strategic priority for any brand moving forward.
“The integrated state should ideally combine search, content, social and e-commerce entities so that the sharing of information can lead to a more impactful marketing strategy,” explained Gavarasana.
3. Content is actually cost-effective: In addition to bridging the gaps between B2B and B2C efforts, a great content strategy can save a company a great deal of money if executed properly. Demand Metric found that content marketing not only costs 62 percent less than traditional outbound campaigns, but that it also yields up to 3 times as many leads as outbound efforts per dollar spent. The infographic also asserted that great content will improve brand loyalty and increase sales, even at a lower price point.
Furthermore, a content marketing strategy can supplement and strengthen conventional outbound efforts, from email newsletters to direct mail and even social media. The more a brand works to repurpose content across various channels and distinct campaigns, the more cost-effective its marketing plan will be overall.
It’s clear that content is taking the marketing world by storm, and with these facts in mind, every company should be preparing to make the most of this powerful tactic.