Content marketing has been growing in popularity.
One report found that 77% of marketers were planning to increase their investment in content marketing.
The reason that marketers are investing or want to invest in content marketing is because studies show that content marketing has amazing return. One report found that content marketing generates 3x more leads than outbound marketing. And that is also at a 62% lower cost.
Now, multiple marketing channels are usually best for companies. It’s good to have various ways to bring in new leads and new customers to your business.
So content marketing can work along with the your outbound channels and advertising channels and other channels.
But I know that you might be on the fence about the viability of content marketing. It’s understandable. It seems that Google is changing all the time. That affects content marketing. And content marketing seems like the new kid on the block.
Let’s look at some of the reasons content marketing is a sustainable strategy.
Content Marketing Is Not New
Content Marketing has seem somewhat of a resurgence in popularity with the Internet. It’s relatively easy to build a blog and start publishing content. You can use your phone to record videos and publish them on YouTube. You can record podcasts with your laptop or your phone.
But Content Marketing has been around for a really long time.
In fact, a number of companies have created magazines, newsletters and similar pieces of content over the years. Airlines have published their own magazines for a number of decades. Southwest Airlines has a really good one.
One note here is that these magazines are not brochures. They’re not meant to do any selling. The companies focus on their target customer and the information the target customer wants to read, watch or listen to. That’s it. When the company provides value in the form of information to target customers they earn attention and trust and that leads to earning business.
People Crave Information
A study from a couple years ago predicted that media consumption would equal 15.5 hours per day per person.
Humans have an incredible thirst for information. We crave it all the time and we live in a period when information is readily available. We don’t really have to wait for information anymore.
The demand for information is there. Yes, you want to sell your products and services to people, but they aren’t thinking about buying most of the time. In fact, consumers are only in “buying mode” 3% of the time. This leaves 97% for other types of information seeking.
If you want to attract more customers you can still focus on the 3% of the time they’re in buying mode, but content marketing can help you appeal to the other 97% of the time. You can earn attention there, earn trust and when those people are in buying mode they’ll go with the brands they know and trust.
Content Marketing Works
We already saw the statistic above where content marketing generates 3x more leads than outbound marketing. And it does that for a lower cost. That makes sense when you consider the 97% to 3% buying mode world we live in.
Here are a few other stats for you:
- 46% of people read blogs more than once a day. (Source)
- Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI. (Source)
- 79% of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing in 2013. (Source)
People are reading blogs and looking for other content. And the companies that are producing content are seeing positive return on their investment.
The key to content marketing, however, is that it’s a long-term strategy. Content marketing doesn’t work like advertising. With advertising, you pay for an established audience. Someone else has built a following with a service or with content and you’re paying for access. You kind of skip over the work of creating the content.
And that’s fine. It’s great.
But content marketing is about building your own content and audience. That takes time. But it’s worth it if you stick with the strategy.
If content marketing is appealing to you then the first place to start is with your customer. You probably have a really good idea of who your customer is. Start there and then begin looking at the questions your customer has about the industry you’re in and their life in general.
A basic content marketing strategy involves identifying those questions and providing the best answers possible. It can really be that simple.
I really like what Parachute does as an example. They sell bedding. They have a blog and they focus on answering questions that their target customers have. They have posts about bedding, but they expand well beyond that into decor, health and wellness, style and other areas.
It’s a great example of how content marketing can work.
Content Marketing is here to stay. It’s a sustainable strategy, but only for those willing to see it as a long-term effort. If you buy-in to that and invest over the long-term you’ll be in great shape with building a content marketing strategy that brings new customers to your business.