What is Content Marketing? According to the Content Marketing Institute:
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.
Content marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior. It is an ongoing process that is best integrated into your overall marketing strategy, and it focuses on owning media, not renting it.
Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling. It is non-interruption marketing. Instead of pitching your products or services, you are delivering information that makes your buyer more intelligent. The essence of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as businesses, deliver consistently, ongoing valuable information to buyers, they ultimately reward us with their business and loyalty.
Content marketing is being used by some of the greatest marketing organizations in the world: Microsoft, Cisco Systems, and John Deere. It’s also developed and executed by small businesses and one-person shops around the globe…because it works!
Most of the incoming content that we receive from companies that are trying to “sell” us something, we often view as junk or consider spam. When we receive something we feel is valuable content, we are more inclined to stop, read, think, and maybe even behave.That fact that creative content can motivate behavior makes it that much more intriguing.
Quality content is part of all forms of marketing:
- Social media marketing: Content marketing strategy comes before your social media strategy.
- SEO: Search engines reward businesses that publish quality, consistent, content.
- PR: Successful PR strategies address issues readers care about, not their business.
- PPC: For PPC to work, you need great content behind it.
- Inbound marketing: Content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads.
- Content strategy: Content strategy is part of most content marketing strategies.
- Per dollar spent, content marketing produces 3 times more leads than paid search. Additionally, it costs less than paid search: 31% less for small and mid-sized companies and 41% less for large companies.(Kapost,Content Marketing ROI, Jun 2012)
- DIFFERING GOALS: For B2B marketers, the top goal of content marketing is “lead generation” (80%), whereas B2C marketers cite “brand awareness” as the top goal (79%).(Content Marketing Institute, 2014 Trends reports forB2B and B2C, Oct 2013)
- Companies that use marketing automation are more likely than companies without automation to re-purpose content for efficiency (45% vs. 28%).(The Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups, 2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, Nov 2013)
- 33% of B2B marketers cite “targeted delivery of content” (i.e., delivering the right content to the right people at the right time) as their biggest challenge.(Forrester Research, The Forrester Wave™: Lead-To-Revenue Management Platform Vendors, Q1 2014, Jan 2014)
- Among B2B buyers, only 9% consider vendor content as trustworthy. And just 4.8% of B2B buyers are willing to provide detailed information in return for white papers.(The CMO Council, Better Lead Yield in the Content Marketing Field, Jun 2013)
- B2B marketers at small and mid-sized companies rate the following content marketing tools as most effective.(Content Marketing Institute, B2B Content Marketing 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, & Trends Report, Oct 2013)
- Case studies (69%)
- In-person events (67%)
- Blogs (65%)
- Email (65%)
- eBooks (64%)
- Videos (63%)
- Webinars (63%)
- Website articles (59%)
- Research reports (59%)
- White papers (58%)
- 97% of B2B buyers said they give more credence to content that includes peer reviews and user-generated feedback.(DemandGen, 2014 B2B Content Preferences Survey, Jun 2014)
- Companies using video see an average cost per marketing-generated lead at $93, compared to $115 for companies that aren’t using video.(Aberdeen Group, Analyzing the ROI of Video Marketing, Jan 2014)
- The average number of different audiences B2B marketers target with separate content marketing strategies is 4. The average number of content marketing initiatives B2B marketers work on at any given time is 13.(Content Marketing Institute & MarketingProfs, 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America, Sep 2014)
- Companies that incorporate Responsive Design into their customer experience management programs (i.e., website, forms, email) see a 4X increase in visitor-to-buyer conversion rates and a 2X increase in company revenue compared to companies that don’t use Responsive Design.(Aberdeen Group,Responsive Design Boosts Customer Engagement Results, Apr 2014)
- When comparing the eventual winning vendor to the rest of the considered vendors, 61% of respondents agreed that the winning vendor delivered a better mix of content appropriate for each stage of the purchasing(DemandGen,2014 B2B Buyer Behavior Survey, Jan 2014)