10 reasons to include Content Marketing in your 2015 Plans
By Simon Brooks, 15 October 2014
Marketers tend to focus on ‘market share’.
They should focus more on “attention share”.
Getting people to take notice of their messages. Notice, pay attention, listen, watch, read, buy.
Last year’s Econsultancy Marketing Budgets Report said that 74 per cent of brands responding to the survey planned to increase spending on content marketing in 2014. The biggest increase in any form of marketing. Did it happen? Probably.
If you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, here are 10 reasons why you should build content marketing into your 2015 plans – and budget.
Reason #1: Buyers prefer content to ads
Most business buyers have found ways to avoid direct sales approaches, adverts, direct email and cold calls.
Instead they circumvent the traditional sales approach, preferring to research their specific needs using Google, looking for evidence of brand leadership, expertise, authority and trust.
Companies that have content that is visible and engaging are at least in with a chance of getting invited to the sales table.
Reason #2: Google loves your content
With Google’s Panda algorithm update, content is the rocket fuel in your SEO tank.
If you produce content that teaches, informs, educates, entertains and is relevant for your target audience, you’ll go far on it.
As this article from the Moz blog points out, “Google’s goal is to deliver answers to people who are searching. If you can produce content that answers people’s questions, then you’re on the right track.
Reason#3: Content keeps prospects engaged until ready to buy
Not all website visitors are ready to buy today (we talked about this in a blog post back in 2011). So give them something to ‘chew on’ while they have a think.
At this stage they are gathering evidence of supplier authority and expertise – and will be influenced by the value of your content. Invite them to receive more content by signing up for your newsletter or blog.
Reason#4: Content positions your business as the expert authority
Wherever it is seen or consumed, good quality content with your name on it will reflect well on your brand. It’s the way to gain influence.
If you blog, tweet, post, update, share or send your expert content out to your target prospects, they will come to see you and your business as authoritative in your field – and worth listening to.
Reason#5: Your social media marketing needs content
Your social media presence is your ideal soap box. These channels are crying out for original, relevant, educational or entertaining content that can be shared with a willing audience.
Providing a regular stream of good quality content is a sure way of building that audience and keeping them wanting more. Just don’t fall into the trap of using your soap box for sales; people don’t like to be sold to.
Reason#6: Content can deliver ROI
The impact of content marketing can be measured. Take a look at this graphic borrowed from Captora that shows what marketers are measuring:
Reason#7: Content can be interesting, entertaining, educational and relevant
Your content can be lots of things to lots of people. And it’s really good to mix it up a bit.
After all, educating your audience in an entertaining way is bound to be interesting. Even better if it’s completely relevant to what they are interested in, what they need or to solving their problem.
Reason #8: You’re the expert. Share the knowledge.
Take this post. We’re talking about content marketing. If you like what you read, maybe you’ll learn a few gems and you might even think – hey, those guys at C4B Media know about Content Marketing. (We do, by the way). You can see how we go about it here.
If you’re selling a product or service, all you need to do is show what you know about it and how it will help. Knowledge is power. Sharing it is the key to influence and winning business.
Reason #9: Your content is all around you.
Look round your business. Talk to your team. How much knowledge is there that can be turned into shareable content? You might already be doing “content marketing” in your business but not be managing it under that umbrella.
Examples include articles, blogs, customer newsletters, case studies and events. The key is to capture your content and harness it in different ways – see Reason #10 below.
Reason #10: You can recycle content. Again and again.
Recycling is the nirvana app for content marketing. It’s known as the “multiplier effect”.
Produce a single piece of valuable, researched, original content on a relevant topic, write up your report or white paper, and then generate further versions from the original.
- Time required to research and produce your report: 2-3 months
- Time for which you can use it and refer to it: 6 months
- Number of times you can refer to it: 50 plus
- Forms of media/channels you can share it in: 10 plus
Here are just a few examples:
- Social media: share posts, updates and statuses over a couple of months linking back to your paper on your website
- PR: do a press release on the main conclusion or premise of your research piece
- Blog: write a few posts over a period of a couple of months covering different angles or findings, referencing back to your original research piece
- Explainer/animated video: produce a video summarising your white paper and post it on your website
- Event: run a breakfast event with an invited speaker and cover the key findings in your research piece
- Infographic: design and write an infographic
- Webinar: run a webinar, promoted via your CRM database
Content Marketing isn’t new. It’s just a name for a new way of looking at marketing.
The old principles of marketing 101 are still valid: present your prospects with information that shows how you can help them solve a problem.
Just do it without slipping into sales mode.
What content marketing methods works best for you? We’d love to hear!