The growth in content marketing is a response to the decline in the success of traditional digital marketing methods, such as banner ads, which is deemed less effective than they used to be because consumers have negative feelings about intrusive advertising.
For example, around 31% of internet users in the UK say they dislike traditional banner advertising and actively avoid websites that overuse it.You can see more evidence of the problem reflected in the growth of ad blocking software.
There’s also a trust issue with advertising. In their 2011 study, Credos found that just 20% of consumers said they have trust in the advertising industry.
In short, traditional advertising is losing its foothold and people no longer believe it. As businesses start to get fewer sales from their traditional digital marketing campaigns, they need to develop a more effective way to engage their customers and bring back trust.
This is where content marketing comes in.
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the creation of digital content that consumers find valuable, trustworthy, and relevant. This leads to greater engagement between a brand and its audience and, over time, people develop trust in the brand and view it as an authoritative source of information.
Content marketing is a long-term marketing strategy that aims to create a strong online presence and ultimately to drive sales.
Digital content can be instructive, entertaining, or a combination of both. It takes many different forms, including podcasts, videos, and blogs.
Why You Need to Focus on Content Marketing
Compared to traditional digital marketing techniques, content marketing generates 3x as many leads as paid searches, such as Google’s AdWords.
And, the internet represents a huge market. Revenue generated from online sales is nothing to scoff at – in 2018, 78% of people made online purchases.
Content marketing provides the opportunity to tap into this market without the damaging effect of traditional advertising.
Why You Need to Create a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
According to a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, only 38% of businesses have a documented content marketing strategy.
Yet, in the same survey, of those businesses that do have a documented content marketing strategy, 63% rated their 2018 content marketing strategy as somewhat or much more successful when compared to 2017.
This highlights the importance of a strong (i.e. documented) content marketing strategy.
The role of a content strategy is to establish the type of content consumers need, to understand where consumers will look for that information, and consequently the best way to deliver it. This requires a strategic approach that takes account of different aspects of content creation. It takes time and effort and requires research and analytics.
What You Need to Consider in Your Strategy
Consumer needs, i.e. knowing what information they seek: for instance, B2B content marketing needs to be highly data driven. They are seeking the information to build a business case for a particular product/service and this requires evidence.
B2B content has to be informative, rather than entertaining. Content must have a rational focus, rather than an emotional focus.
B2C content, on the other hand, needs a more emotional edge. It is an appeal to taste and lifestyle choices. Therefore, there’s more scope for entertainment and light-heartedness.
Certain types of content will appeal here. There’s a heavy focus within content marketing for brands to discuss their “brand story”. This helps to create the authenticity that modern consumers need – it’s almost the opposite of traditional advertising because it’s honest, straightforward, and real. It helps consumers to know the brand and this helps build trust.
Both B2B and B2C content will have elements that are both rational and emotional, but the weight of focus is different.
Internet access and usage: for example, over the next few years, the global mobile population will grow. In 2018, 37.08% of internet traffic was from mobile. Knowing that mobile usage is growing means content marketers must understand the importance of creating mobile-optimised content.
Content marketing is more effective than traditional forms of digital marketing. Understanding how buyers prefer to consume content (e.g. video, blogs, and podcasts) and their preferences for content style (e.g. informative vs entertaining) will help you build stronger relationships between your brand and your audience.
Lion Spirit Media can help you build and manage a content strategy that works. Get in touch now to find out how we can help you create unique content that ROARS.