In 2013, companies were eager to adopt content marketing – then in 2014, the number of companies reporting to use content marketing dropped.
Why would companies stop practicing content marketing? As it turns out, they may not have even been using it in the first place. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s 10 Research-Driven Insights about Content Marketing (http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/01/research-driven-insights-content-marketing/) and their research article “Why Fewer People Are Using Content Marketing…” (http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/10/fewer-people-using-content-marketing/), the number of marketers who reported using content marketing dropped from an initial 93% in 2013 to 86% in 2014.
The Content Marketing Institute is quick to point out that the decrease might be an indication that the market is maturing, as companies realize that last year’s tactics wouldn’t exactly qualify as content marketing in the first place.
So what is content marketing? First, it involves more than just creating exciting or compelling content to engage and attract potential customers while still retaining present customers. For your content to make a difference, it must be backed by a strategy that keeps it relevant and consistent. The key to making it relevant is by mapping messaging to the buyer’s journey of your target audience.
Content marketing isn’t just about throwing anything that’s remotely content-related out into the vast sea of marketing materials. Instead, it’s about having a plan and knowing when and where to distribute each piece of content. Effective content marketing educates your audience about the decision they’re about to make, but is also carefully timed, targeted at an appropriate audience, and moves them along the buyer’s journey.
Before any company begins writing content, they need to ask themselves these questions:
• What are your goals for this particular product?
• Who is your target audience?
• What do they care about?
• How do they buy?
• What information do they need to know before they buy?
• Is your content valuable? Relevant? Engaging? Educational?
• How many social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) are you using?
• Are you posting daily? Weekly? Monthly?
• What story are you trying to tell your audience?
Being able to answer all of these questions might lead you to creating an effective content marketing strategy – rather than just creating content in a marketing environment without a thoughtful strategy to guide you to success.
Are you content marketing or just marketing with content? Let us know what you think about this in the comments!
To learn about how content marketing and how it can be successfully implemented with a strong strategy, get in touch with Intelligent Demand (http://intelligentdemand.com/contact/), and we’ll chat over coffee.