Content marketing is a big deal for growing numbers of B2B marketers. Here’s why.
Traditional marketing delivers promotional messages to people who are watching, listening, or reading. Some will be interested, many will not. It’s designed to interrupt. If you’re a TV watcher, you know this only too well. As much as 25% of each TV hour is allocated to commercials, station breaks, and public service announcements. Yikes!
Content marketing is different. Content marketers target individuals who have expressed an interest in what they and their business have to say. It is permissive versus interruptive. Unlike mass or traditional media, it’s not going to reach gazillions of viewers, listeners, or readers. However, those that it does reach are likely interested and potentially willing to enter into an ongoing relationship. That’s powerful stuff and the essence of what content marketing is all about.
Let’s get a little more specific about content marketing and why its popularity is building amongst B2B marketers.
1. A givers gain philosophy is at the heart of content marketing.
In the B2B world, content marketing is inextricably linked to lists – people who have subscribed to a newsletter, requested a download, or attended a webinar, for example. For the most part, each has given their permission to be put on the list. In return, marketers agree to provide them with interesting, informative, entertaining, and/or educational content. This is what ‘giver’s gain’ is all about. In return for providing recipients with content of value, with no expectation of a quick reward, some will be inclined to provide what the marketer really wants… their attention, interest, and business!
2. Content marketing is VERY cost-effective.
According to a recent study, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing methods. Content marketers tend to use newsletters, whitepapers, videos, e-books and other tools that are, by comparison, low-cost. If you’re familiar with the cost of a 30-second TV commercial or a full-page ad in a major publication you know how big the difference can be.
3. Content marketing brings more visitors to your website.
Google's algorithm is complex and constantly changing. Nevertheless, it is widely believed that a company’s ranking is directly affected by the number of people visiting its website. More visitors mean greater awareness of what the company is offering. And, very likely, more people requesting downloads, watching a video, subscribing to a newsletter, or requesting information on a product or service. Here’s another fact. Companies that blog generate more website traffic than those that don’t. Plus, blog posts with videos can increase the time people spend on a website by more than 100%.
4. Dollar for dollar, content marketing generates more leads.
A recent study suggests that a well-executed content marketing strategy will result in 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing. Content marketing drives higher conversion rates, in part because people find intrusive marketing annoying. When the results for marketers who embrace content marketing are compared with those that don’t, conversion rates are nearly six times higher.
5. Content marketing is a whole lot less annoying.
In this day and age, so many things are beyond our control. Is it any wonder that people respond positively to information they have agreed to receive and complain about the rest? We’ve already talked about the interruptive nature of broadcast advertising, popup ads, and other types of online advertising. Could this be why a whopping 70% of buyers would rather get to know a company through articles, whitepapers, newsletters and other things they have asked for?
6. Content marketing helps build your brand.
Content helps separate your business from the pack by demonstrating how well you understand your business, your industry, and the people you’re reaching out to. TV advertising and other types of conventional marketing can be annoying. And annoyance tends to have a negative impact on a brand’s reputation.
Content marketing is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to build relationships and develop business. It allows an organization to demonstrate that it’s approachable and customer oriented. Plus, original content helps a business stand out in a crowded marketplace. It can be a true competitive advantage.
There are other benefits... versatility, for example. The content you create can be repurposed. Blog posts can be turned into a whitepaper and chapters of an e-book can be published as blog posts or articles. This is just another way that content marketing helps lower marketing costs.
A word of caution, though. Effective content marketing requires a thoughtful strategy outlining what is being done, for whom, when, and how will it be delivered. If developing this strategy is not your thing, there are experts available to help you. Don't know one! Need a recommendation? I might know someone who can help!!