According to Google Trends, searches for terms related to Content Marketing have increased by over 80% during the past 12 months. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, after all, content is the ONLY reason that people consume media. The internet is fundamentally based on content – individuals & brands have been creating content since day dot. So why is Content Marketing getting so much airtime lately? The answer lays in the changes in media consumption patterns of the past number of years. Consumers, B2B and B2C alike, are much more informed. They seek out content to help them form opinions, looking to platforms such as blogs, video sites, apps, social networks, reviews etc.
Having an engaging content marketing strategy allows brands to reach their audiences on these platforms with relevant, useful content in a non-interruptive way.
It helps build trust. Good content, which is developed with your audiences’ requirements in mind, will be, by its very nature, useful to the consumer. By steering clear of an overt sales pitch your content will help to position you as a credible expert on your subject.
It has a long shelf life. Unlike some other forms of marketing which have a limited life span, good content will remain visible & valuable to your consumers over a much longer period of time.
It will help with SEO. The last couple of changes to Google’s algorithm have rewarded sites that contain good quality, relevant content. In orders words, sites that are optimised for consumers will invariably rank better that those that are optimised purely for search engines.
It can lead to less media spend. But it does not mean that paid media is not required. A successful content marketing strategy will be built on a foundation of paid, earned and owned media.
It’s measurable. Crucially, you get almost instant feedback on whether or not your content is hitting the right mark for your audience. This allows you to tweak your content, constantly iterating until the right chord is struck. And in the process you gather valuable feedback from both customers & prospects.
Content creation is nothing new but it does pay to invest time in properly planning your content marketing strategy. It should always be developed not only with your own business objectives in mind but also your consumers’ requirements. It should be strategic, sharable & sticky but above all it needs to be relevant.
Let us know in the comments if you content marketing will be part of your plans during 2013. And if so, what will you be focussing on?
Finally, this video from Google discusses how businesses are finally realising that a big part of what consumers are doing online is looking at content and they need to develop the type of content consumers want.
Note: This is a re-post of an article I wrote over on www.ican.ie