Why are marketers dedicating a higher section of their budgets to developing content marketing? In the new Internet-driven era, marketing departments are trying to move away from traditional marketing techniques and more towards a content marketing strategy, especially for B2B organizations.
55% of B2B marketers indicate that they will increase their content marketing spending in the next 12 months. Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs
The History of Advertising & Pay-per-click
When talking about the traditional marketing techniques that we learned in college, there are four basic categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, and telemarketing.
- Print includes any type of advertisement in the form of printed material like magazines, brochures, ads in the newspaper, etc.
- Broadcast includes radio and television commercials.
- Direct mail is any type of printed form of advertisement that is sent directly to the consumer’s mailbox.
- Lastly, telemarketing involves calling a consumer using that thing called a telephone.
With the Internet boom, new ways of advertising came about as marketers started to target their customers online. The pay-per-click (PPC) model was created to provide businesses with a way to reach their audience whenever relevant searches occurred.
The Next Piece of the Marketing Investment Pie
Fast forward to today. Advertising has become an increasing challenge for companies as consumers have taken control of the buying and research process. They tend to have more trust in customer reviews and articles written by third parties. Social marketing also plays a major role.
Think about how you researched your last vacation. Did you rely on reviews and articles from tripadvisor or other sites? Ask for hotel suggestions on Facebook or Twitter? Most likely you did.
Are all of the traditional and online advertising strategies still relevant today? Absolutely. However, a new marketing method has arisen over the past few years—content marketing.
As marketers, we are not saying goodbye completely to traditional marketing as it still has a place in today’s marketing mix. But as we look ahead, content marketing is grabbing a bigger slice of that marketing investment pie.
71% of marketers are increasing investment in content marketing. Curata
Hello Content Marketing
Instead of advertising products through traditional marketing techniques or the newer models like PPC, marketing efforts are becoming more directed towards developing content that consumers will value.
The goal of content marketing is to attract and retain customers by creating valuable content and distributing it. It is not only focused on the content your company creates, but also on sharing others’ content; a process that is called content curation.
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. Content Marketing Institute
Content marketing provides value by creating content through blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, and many others. It intertwines with social media marketing since it is through social platforms that companies generally distribute their content. Creating this content promotes brand awareness for these businesses.
Potential customers come to learn about the brand by reading a blog post or watching a video–if they are interested, they will research the company and buy its products (at least that’s the goal). Jonathan Gebauer mentions how content and social media marketing depend on each other to exist in his article, The Difference Between Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing and SEO:
“Content Marketing became a hyped strategy because as people started to consume more content it also meant that producing more marketing content made a lot more sense. But this also meant that to increase the audience for the content Social Media Marketing techniques became a must. Jonathan Gebauer
Content Distribution via Social
The goal of content marketing is to increase brand awareness; therefore, it is crucial to distribute the content in order to try to reach a broad audience. Here is where the social aspect takes over. After you have created valuable content, you must share it through the different social media platforms, not just one time, but several. By doing this you will generate more traffic because different people will consume your content at different times of day.
Social media is also important because it gives you the opportunity to listen to what your audience has to say. There is no better way of measuring if the content you create is actually as valuable as you think than to monitor what people are saying about it.
Traditional Advertising VS Content Marketing
In the image below, we can see three of the major disadvantages of traditional publicity. Besides the fact that it is interrupting consumers from their daily activities, companies spend millions of dollars on advertising campaigns that only hold the customer’s attention for a short period of time and many times turn out to be unsuccessful.
On the other hand, content marketing is a cheaper and more effective strategy that allows companies to attract clients by creating brand loyalty. The distribution of valuable content through different channels helps to attract a broader and more diverse audience.
The shift to content marketing is evident in 2015. Traditional channels such as online advertising and PPC have been overshadowed by the power of content marketing.
Best practice organizations must balance traditional marketing and content marketing investment to optimize results.