When Entrepreneur magazine crowned content marketing king in 2011, marketers really started to pay attention to this oft misunderstood, yet growing niche. Today, marketers are retreating from traditional marketing tactics such as search marketing and have made content marketing the most-used tactic in their brand-enhancing toolbox. In fact, according to HiveFire’s B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report, twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising.
However, if you’re new to the content marketing arena, the world of content marketing can seem a little like the Wild, Wild West (it sort of is). Why should you take the plunge?
Did we get your attention? With Google ushering in new algorithms and indexing updates that favor frequently published and popular content over heavily-optimized sites, content marketing became a key component it many brands’ online marketing strategies and SEO efforts. The fact is, content marketing is now required to drive traffic from the greatest number of keywords to a website. It is also the catalyst that drives natural link building.
2. Audience Engagement
With content marketing, you will build a stronger, more engaged social media audience. We’ve heard many social media experts and gurus go as far as to say that a social media campaign without content is “hollow.” Without real content to post in social media, what would a brand share? Other people’s content or conversation would also be the resulting content.
3. More “Face Time”
According to the Association of Publishing Agencies, customers spend 25 minutes on average with branded publications, compared with a TV ad (30 seconds) and an Internet ad (0.5 seconds). 25 minutes immersed with a brand? Not bad use of their time. Additionally, online content stays around a lot longer than TV or radio. Content marketing (and when we say “content marketing,” we always mean “original and relevant content”) is capable of reaching millions of eyes time and time again by way of press releases, blog posts and social media.
4. Reach a Younger Generation of Consumers
We realize that reaching younger consumers may not be an immediate goal for ultra luxury brands (especially in the real estate and home décor sectors), but we advise our clients to always have an eye towards the future. Just keep this fact in mind: 96 percent of the next generation of luxury consumers—Generation Y—are using social media and are avid consumers of online content.
5. Reputation Management
If you don’t tell your brand’s story someone else will. In fact, chances are it’s being told right now online. Brands can choose to either lead the conversation, or trust that job to others with little or no stake in the brand’s success. Our view is that when our clients choose to have power over their own content and their own stories, it builds trust, positive sentiment and brand equity with their customers.
Content marketing is a bit like the LBD (little black dress) of the marketing world. You have endless ways to accessorize it and appeal to your brand’s target market, whether through online press releases, whitepapers, videos, blogs or branded magazines, and it will never go out of style.
Content marketing may very well be king right now, but brands are truly the first in command. You have ultimate control over your messages. You have the ultimate say over whether your stories are valuable, compelling or relevant. You can choose which stories to tell and where and to whom. Pretty wild concept, huh?