Business in the Digital Age – All Marketing is Now Content Marketing
In the world today, there are roughly 4 billion Internet users and over 3 billion people on social media. In total, more than three-quarters of Americans are online every day with a quarter of them constantly connected. Given these figures, it is no surprise that 9 out of every 10 businesses today use content marketing to reach customers. But using content marketing and having a content marketing strategy are not the same. For many companies, a significant gap exists between the two.
By recent accounts, nearly two-thirds of all business lack a content marketing strategy. Understanding the potential impact such a strategy could have, it seems incredible that some companies neglect this essential component of their marketing plan. Today, all marketing is content marketing. And in order to succeed, a business must not only have a content marketing strategy but also appreciate the best content marketing practices. Otherwise, they may very well not have a need for one at all in their future.
“A lot of marketers are under the assumption that simply creating more content than the competition will get them the results they want. I beg to differ. If Google algorithm updates like Panda and Penguin have shown us anything, it’s that quality trumps everything else.” – Neil Patel, Cofounder of Neil Patel Digital
The Rise of Content Marketing
Without question, the digital age is the primary reason for the necessity of content marketing. But its more than just having information at our fingertips that has resulted in this evolution. Though it is true that media companies no longer control the distribution of content, access is not the only explanation for content marketing’s appeal. Instead, there has been a shift in the expectations and preferences of customers that have truly driven this change.
In the past, marketing involved television ads, mail campaigns, radio spots, and more. But today, essentially all marketing efforts involve digital content that can be widely distributed in an efficient and effective manner. Why? Because customers no longer tolerate passive advertisements that are uninformative or simply self-promoting. They demand quality content that they can trust that also addresses their specific needs. This has been the real driver that has shifted all marketing toward content marketing.
“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” – David Beebe, Founder and CEO of Storified Hospitality Group
Businesses Today Must Know Content Marketing’s Best Practices to Succeed
Does your business have a content marketing strategy? Is the content marketing you have effective in advancing your business? Many misperceptions about content marketing exist, even today. After all, marketing is a constantly evolving field that demands staying abreast of the latest trends and changes. With this in mind, the following offers some insights about how your business might want to approach its content marketing plan moving forward.
- Make Content Relevant, Engaging, and Informative – Customer attention span continues to shrink, and time is becoming increasingly valued as a resource. In order to attract customer attention, content must be engaging and informative while being relevant to customer needs. Talking about what you want to talk about is a luxury you can no longer afford. Content marketing today must identify what customers want while providing valuable insights in the process.
- Content Should Be Timely, Targeted, and Convergent – If marketing in the past offered a shotgun approach, content marketing today must use a rifle. Identifying your audience and target consumer is essential for business success and a critical element in content marketing. At the same time, content marketing needs to have a unified message across of digital media to promote both branding and customer trust. Divergent and inconsistent marketing content is certain to lose customer interest and faith over time.
- Leverage Quality Content to Create Customer Relationships – By following the previously described best practices, high-quality content can be created. But at the same time, using this content to develop a relationship with your customers is similarly important. Use interactive content to explore customer needs and wants. Provide content that enhances customer knowledge, awareness, and trust in your business. And be creative in how you connect with your customers using content while potentially generating additional revenues for your business. These practices have long-lasting, beneficial impacts on your business.
- Make Sure Your Content Marketing is Effective and Productive – While you may believe your content marketing is on par with your competitors, the proof is always in the pudding. Is your content driving customers to your business? Are they returning once they have used your services or bought your products? Today, data analytics and a variety of marketing metrics are available to measure just how effective your content marketing is. Knowing your ROI can help you greatly in developing the right content for your target audience.
How Effective Is Your Content Marketing Strategy?
For businesses to excel today, investments in a quality content marketing strategy is important. Many companies have recognized this fact and are actively engaged in creating powerful relationships with their customers through these strategies. And while specific techniques in marketing will continue to evolve, content marketing will likely be an essential component for decades to come. If you need assistance with your content marketing plan, contact us at Hashtag Creative today. As content marketing experts with vast experience in all marketing areas, we can help ensure your business is well positioned for future success.