Have you heard about Content Marketing?
If you haven’t and you’re the owner of a business or the VP of Marketing, you will hear about Content Marketing. This year, 2012, appears to be a big year for content.
Now, to be fair, content has always been important in marketing. Advertising, marketing materials and even TV commercials are content. They all contain words and headlines and any other kind of text, which makes them part of Content Marketing.
But even a TV commercial or image or photograph is content. Content is anything your target customer absorbs. Content is involved in every aspect of the sales funnel.
Content gets a customer’s attention.
Content educates a customer.
Content builds trust.
Content closes the deal.
And content follows up with customer service and requests for referral.
But if content has always been around, why is it becoming more important in 2012?
Content Marketing is Growing
People are starting to understand the power of inbound marketing.
This effort is the strategy of building community around your brand. It’s about building lists of customers and potential customers that opt-in to updates, newsletters, and future content.
Community building is difficult. It’s a long-term strategy. But it can be very profitable and more stable than other marketing channels.
Some companies even use inbound marketing as their main (and sometimes only) source of traffic, leads and sales. One example is SEOmoz, which claims up to 95% of all traffic is from inbound marketing efforts generated with content.
Paid is Unpredictable
Any marketing model is unpredictable. There are always changes and that includes inbound marketing as well.
But I truly believe the power of a list, a list of people that have opted in to your content and brand, is much more stable than paying for advertisements, placements, etc.
Look at what was announced yesterday for example – Web Privacy Framework Boosts Chances for Rules With Teeth. The trend is to give greater control of privacy to the Internet user.
Tracking, tagging, etc. All of that will come under pressure so it seems.
The interruption models are under pressure on the Web.
The power of having a community or list is much more valuable and safe today and in the future.
Content Marketing Involves Your Entire Company
The best strategy is to use content marketing throughout your company.
Tom Critchlow of Distilled gives a great rundown of content marketing and its involvement in brands with – The Time For Content Marketing is Now. This article is worth 10 minutes of your time to read. It’s good stuff from a smart guy in the SEO world.
In the article, Tom is speaking to SEOs and also companies that invest in SEO.
The idea is to marry SEO and Content Marketing. The relationship has already existed, but is much more important in the future.
Tom’s suggestion to invest in content is smart advice. He suggest having a Chief Content Officer at your company. The role of this person is to make connections and form relationships throughout your company.
Content strategy needs to be developed. There needs to be one consistent message communicated throughout every part of the company. This means that content strateg and marketing is part of:
- Word of Mouth
- Guest Blogging
The list goes on.
What is your content marketing strategy for 2012?
As Tom says – The Time for Content Marketing is Now.