Content marketing is probably something you’ve heard.
But what is the actual definition?
There are a few different ones that I found, but I like this one the best:
A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.
‘social media is an integral part of content marketing’
The bolded areas are my emphasis. I would actually remove the word “online” from that first part. Content marketing has been in the business world for a long time. Long before the Internet.
The key is that content marketing is the creation and promotion of content with the intent to provide education, enlightening and entertainment to a target audience.
Are you interested in content marketing for your company?
Here are some interesting facts to consider as you make your decision.
1. SEO + Content Marketing
About five years ago Neil Patel proclaimed that Content Marketing Is The New SEO.
And he was right.
Here is what surveys are showing today:
Organic was the number one marketing initiative priority for the survey respondents. BrightEdge proprietary research shows organic search drives 51 percent of all website traffic.
An overwhelming majority of marketers –– 97 percent of those surveyed –– agree SEO and content marketing are converging, or have already converged.
The survey went on to find that SEO and content marketing are the most important initiatives for marketers right now.
The takeaway here is that if you want online traffic to your website from search engines, if you want to do SEO, you need to do content marketing.
And again, content marketing is creating content that doesn’t explicitly promote your brand. It’s content aimed to answer questions your audience is asking online.
2. Channels Come & Go, Content Remains
A report recently came out that looked at the possibility that Facebook is in decline in use.
Is Facebook going away?
Is it maturing?
The fact here for content marketers is to remember that channels come and go. Even powerhouse channels like TV, radio and even Facebook.
The channels change with generations.
But content marketing has been around for a long time. Brands have been creating content for a long time. John Deere was doing it in the 1800s.
With content marketing you have to look to adapt. And to own your content.
Look to build your own hub of content. Like a website. You can then use snippets of content to share on whatever channels are most popular at the moment.
3. People Don’t Like Ads
More than 25% of Internet users in the US use ad blockers while browsing the web.
Ads still work to generate business throughout the sales funnel. But the online world is very free. When there is a demand for something, like fewer ads, solutions, like ad blockers, popup and offer a solution.
It’s risky to have ads be a large portion of your online marketing strategy. Especially with more people using ad blockers with each passing day.
Content marketing is a way to earn people’s attention by answering their questions. It’s something any company can publish online. And people don’t want to block it. They seek it out.
The catch is that content marketing is a long-term marketing play.
4. People Trust Branded Content
HubSpot asked c-level executives What sources of information do you rely on when making buying business software?
Vendor-authored materials came in at 39%.
This probably includes information content like product descriptions, case studies and things like that. But it also probably includes more content marketing content like blog posts, videos, etc.
Time, Inc. found that people trust branded content more than ads even finding that:
93 percent of Gen Z said that they prefer to see brands publish something new and unique to attract their attention.
5. People Consume Content On Their Phones
Outbrain is a content discovery engine. Companies promote the content they create through Outbrain ads.
Recently, Outbrain discovered that 52% of all Outbrain pageviews were mobile.
That’s a pretty big barrier to cross. It’s been happening for a few years and now we’re starting to see that most online content is now consumed via mobile.
Writers, designers, video producers, etc. all need to consider how their audience is consuming content. The goal is to make the content experience and enjoyable one.
6. Marketers Will Use AI To Develop Content Strategies
A new survey that came out found that 42.9% of marketers are at least somewhat likely to use artificial intelligence to develop content marketing strategies this year.
You have to think that this is a growing trend.
There is so much data in the world today. It’s difficult for people to parse through it all to draw conclusions. That’s where AI can help and probably help in other ways also that I’m not evening considering.
The key takeaway is to consider anything that allows you to figure out what people are looking for and providing the best information.
Whether that’s asking people yourself in person or using AI to gather info.
7. Content Marketing Is Effective, But Stresses Bandwidth
When it comes to growing an email list, marketers listed content marketing as the second best tactic (after social media advertising).
But it was also a challenge.
And the big challenge was having enough bandwidth to create content.
8. Original Research Is Very Effective
People love research. I’m using it in just about every point in this article. It’s good to see proof behind claims.
A survey of B2B executives asked what type of content marketing was most effective. A very good question. Original research came in at #1. Blog posts weren’t too far behind and ebooks actually came in fairly far behind.
Original research is great for attracting attention and earning new business. Many top companies run surveys with their customers and others. They also create case studies and run their own tests to come up with their own research that they can use for content marketing.
9. People Like New Information
Here was an interesting question to ask people about content marketing.
A survey asked people what attribute helped them remember branded content.
The most said that learning something new was the most important attribute. But that was followed closely by content that entertains them, inspires them and teaches them something.
I realize that throughout this post I’ve claimed that content marketing should focus on questions people are asking and providing the answer.
The information in this survey kind of backs this up.
But it also shows the importance of providing new information that people aren’t even thinking about or knowing to ask about.
10. Branded Content Is The Future
We’ve touched on advertising a bit in a few of the points above.
The last point I want to leave you with in regards to content marketing is that branded content is the future.
Branded content is content created by brands. I think it’s very closely related to content marketing.
Publishers of all kinds are struggling to monetize their content. The reason is that people don’t need to pay for content anymore. There is so much of it. People create it for free.
Companies that sell something like a product or service, though, can monetize content. They can use content as a marketing strategy to attract attention and new customers for their products they sell.
Content marketing is a growing marketing strategy. Many businesses have already begun investing. Some are finding that it’s more difficult and time consuming than they expected. That’s where outsourcing could help.
If you’re considering content marketing hopefully the facts above provided some insight to help with your decision.