What the hell is content marketing anyway?

August 13th, 2014  |  No Comments

Content marketing magic
 

There is a lot of talk about content marketing lately. At first glance, it seems just another buzzword that’s being thrown around by various digital marketing sages. Yet, before we (as an agency) position ourselves to be omniscient content wizards, we recently had to ask ourselves “what is content marketing?” – and “how does a company arrive at a content marketing strategy?”

These thoughts prompted even more questions, like:

  • Does content marketing consist mostly of writing blog posts?
  • Is it making sure that a company posts regularly to Social Media: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter?
  • Can you share cool photos and imagery as well as text to ‘officially’ be marketing content?
  • Is content marketing defined as getting other people to share your stuff?
  • Does the content have to be about your company’s product or service or can it be about something else?
  • Does it involve getting people to download a report or white paper?
 

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of these questions then you are on the right track. This newer form of marketing, as defined by the Content Marketing Institute (yes, there’s an institute), is as follows:

“Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

There is a good overview article on the Content Marketing Institute’s page about this very topic.

As we looked more closely at the practices of Content Marketing, we came across some information that we found quite interesting. Take a look.

People:

  • 65% of your audience are visual learners? (Source: Webdam)
  • Visual data is processed 60,000 times faster than text. (Source: Webdam)
  • People spend more than 50% of their time online looking at content. (Source: AOL)
  • 70% of consumers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. (Source: CMI)
  • 60% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content on its site. (Source: Content Plus)
 

Results:

  • Website conversion rate is nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (Source: Aberdeen Group)
  • 82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing. (Source: HubSpot
  • Average website conversion for companies with defined (Content Marketing) processes is more than twice that of companies without (5.9% vs 3.8%). (Source: Aberdeen Group)
  • 41% of marketers confirm content marketing’s positive ROI. (Source: HubSpot)
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source: Demand Metric)
 

Blogging:

  • 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a blog post. (Source: IgniteSpot)
  • B2B companies that blog generate 67% more leads per month than those who do not blog. (Source: Hubspot)
  • Small businesses that embrace blogging see 126% more growth in terms of leads than those that don’t blog. (Source: ThinkCreative)
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. (Source: Content Plus)
 

In the end, Content Marketing is real and effective if done properly. Companies can certainly bring this effort in-house or hire outside help. In any case, it’s not something that will benefit a company with a half-baked effort. It will require a lot of time, effort and resources, and the gains will only become visible over time. It’s not plug and play folks.

Here’s an info-graphic below on the topic created by Oracle, Eloqua and LookBookHQ

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