We have seen and heard it consistently. Content Marketing is King! What does this mean? Global brands are allocating increasing budgets to Content Marketing and reaping the results.
By now, you might be asking yourself, what does this mean for your brand right?
To put it simply, it means that you should take a closer look at how your brand could benefit from Content Marketing. If you are an entrepreneur or small to medium-sized business owner, this would be a good time to dust-off and revise your marketing strategy and make room for a business powerhouse – a content marketing strategy.
There are so many unique and interesting stories that you can tell about your brand. It makes sense to tell them in a meaningful way, to an audience of unanticipated proportions, that could help your business realize its full potential.
Here`s a working definition of content marketing that puts the concept into perspective.
What is Content Marketing
The Content Marketing Institute, defines content marketing as: “The marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
This definition speaks to using a deliberate, articulated and documented strategy to communicate your brand to your specific target audience, with a defined objective in mind. In order to “drive profitable action” customers must be aware of your brand, what it stands for and how it’s represented.
Now ask yourself, “How does your brand stack up?” “How is your brand represented on the global stage?” “What are your competitors doing to grow their market share?”
Here are some statistics to consider.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs recently concluded their fifth annual B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America survey. Amidst valuable trends that the report identified, the below trends offer useful statistics that can guide your company’s decision on whether developing and implementing a content marketing strategy is worth the return on investment.
Content Marketing Statistics
86% of companies surveyed said “yes” they use content marketing
84% of companies surveyed stated that their top goal is to increase brand awareness
55% of content marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget in 2015/2016
69% are presently working on creating more engaging and higher quality content, and
54% face the challenge of creating content effectively
These five trends are good indicators of a marketing strategy shift that is fueling business growth worldwide. Thanks to the power of the Internet, marketing your content to millions is now a reality and a viable business strategy.
In Canada, for example, an article in the January 2015 edition of the Globe and Mail, Natasha Koifman identified ten trends in marketing in 2015 and I couldn’t agree with her more.
Her observations are also spot-on with the trends identified by CMI and MarketingProfs.
Natasha’s three related trends include: “Authentic content marketing will rule,” “A shift from an online presence to an online brand,” and “Image-centric content will remain king.”
As I said in my introduction, Content Marketing is King and many the consensus from thought leaders is that this marketing pillar is here to stay.. Content Marketing gives businesses the opportunity to tell and sell, directly to customers, no matter where they are.
We have long been living in a borderless world, and the Internet continues to create a myriad of opportunities for even the smallest business to present their brands on the world stage through content marketing.
I once worked at a company where too many people, many without a clue, threw around the term “brand.” From where I sat, I smiled and even laughed out loud because far too many people use the word as a “catch phrase” without knowing the real meaning.
From my years of marketing experience, I learnt that your brand is what lives in the minds of your customers. Companies that do an excellent job at marketing their brands, (Nike, GE, Coca-Cola, Apple, Microsoft) boasts millions of loyal customers and beyond impressive bottom lines.
Yet, there are companies that exist year after year, spend millions on communicating their brand, without getting customers’ buy-in. That’s when you know there is a disconnect between the way those organizations are positioning their brand and the way customers are perceiving their brand.
In his Forbes Magazine article entitled, “What Is a Brand, Anyway” Jerry McLaughlin makes this point crystal clear: “Put simply, your “brand” is what your prospect thinks of when he or she hears your brand name. It’s everything the public thinks it knows about your name brand offering—both factual (e.g. It comes in a robin’s-egg-blue box), and emotional (e.g. It’s romantic). Your brand name exists objectively; people can see it. It’s fixed. But your brand exists only in someone’s mind.”
By creating and disseminating well-written, proper content to target audiences, companies can position themselves as thought leaders; as experts; as forward-thinkers – titles for which brands are clamoring.
More Compelling Reasons
If you haven’t already decided on a content marketing strategy for your company, here are some more compelling reasons from thought leaders:
- If you want to be more effective at content marketing, document your strategy – CMI and Marketing Profs
- Social media platforms have made it easier to distribute content, with the possibility of it going viral
- Your content marketing strategy should be a part of your overall marketing strategy
- If you are on a social media platform, you are a brand – you need to think and behave like one – Natasha Koifman
- Your content is versatile. You can create one piece of content and use it in many different formats including micro-blogs and other social media platforms; podcasts, face-to-face presentations, Slideshare, and YouTube, for example.
Need help with defining and executing your company`s content marketing strategy? Need a prolific content writer? Share your stories with us and we would be happy to shed some light on your situation.