Content Marketing is a buzz word that has dominated marketing departments and meetings for the past few years with approximately 93% of marketers utilising content marketing tactics. So why have so many businesses jumped on the content marketing bandwagon?
Some facts about Content Marketing:
Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads. (Source: DemandMetric)
Website conversion rate is nearly 6x higher for content marketing adopters than non-adopters (2.9% vs 0.5%). (Source: Aberdeen)
72% of marketers think that branded content is more effective than magazine advertisements. (Source: CCC)
82% of marketers who blog see positive ROI for their inbound marketing. (Source: HubSpot)
Companies with blogs typically receive 97% more leads than companies without blogs (Source: QuickSprout)
97% of major brands tweeted in 2013, up from 90% in 2012 (source)
69% of marketers say content is superior to direct mail and PR. (Source: CCC)
Side Effects of Sharing Syndrome
The benefits of content marketing have been proven time and time again and there are some very impressive statistics as you can see from the above. However, this has led to some negative side effects.
Social Sharing Piggy Backing – Why create unique content when you can just retweet, share and regurgitate other creators content. This effect leads to the mindless sharing of content where the content is being shared for sharing purposes but the content is actually getting overlooked.
If we take twitter for example, active users with a strong following muster up a good Klout score. Users who share content of interest and use maintain and build a stronger following and contributes to a greater Klout score. What this inadvertently does is create a focus on the sharing (liking, retweeting, favouriting) of content as opposed to the creation and learning from content.
Ask yourself how many times you retweeted something without reading or fully understanding the article? What this ultimately does is feed more popularity to the content originators such as Moz, Kissmetrics who generate truly unique, interesting and useful content but can dilute the effectiveness of the content from those users who are mainly focussing on their sharing activity / Klout score.
Over saturation of content and marketing noise – With 93% of companies generating content it means more than ever it is harder to get a message seen and heard through the swamp of content marketing. It is harder than ever to create a unique and emotionally compelling piece of content and ensure it receives the right exposure. Therefore, more investment than ever is needed to ensure that
The Missing Metrics & Content Marketing Science – The investment in unique content and then ensuring is getting exposure for that content is quite considerable. However, assessing and calculating the effectiveness of the content can be a somewhat complex process, especially for those companies without a good CRM system in place like Salesforce. It’s not surprising with such a specialist 72% of large organizations, and 33% of small companies, outsource their content creation. (Source: CMI)
The Digital Talent Gap – Even Millenials are a matter of concern. In a survey comprising over 800 middle to upper management executives from over 50 industries, nearly one in five Millenials in the modern workplace are perceived to be lacking in analytical skills. The beauty of digital lies in its ability to be measured however to measure something requires goals to be set and a focus on results and conversions. Sharing content is great for brand exposure and awarness and generating website traffic but it is an effort that needs to be constantly monitored and reviewed and adjusted to truly be of benefit to a company.
If Content is King, how do you become the King of your content?
Invest in your brand – Breaking through the content marketing wall is a difficult task but investing in your brand can go a long way.
If 55% follow your business just because they like your brand then half of your job is already done before you even share any content. Also strong brands encourage loyalty and trust which to be constantly regarded as a trusted source of information is an essential ingredient.
Plan, Plan, Plan – Consistency is key so having 10 blog posts one month and then none for a few months isn’t the best way to maintain a constant and consistent presence within the frame of reference of your target audience. Having a content marketing calendar is an ideal way to plan out a consistent content that is appropriate
Creativity is key – Seeing the same old topics repeated time and time again can arguably become dull and cause your audience to ‘switch off’, unfollow, unconnect etc. Talking about new, original and interesting topics is important and how these topics / messages are communicated is equally important which leads nicely onto the next point.
Video Content Marketing Strategy – Sparking engagement of your content can be greatly influence through the form it is delivered whether it’s text, image / infographic, video, audio / podcast.
One of the main aims of content marketing is to spark engagement. Twitter has some great stats on what fuels a tweets engagement (source), please see below:
Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets
Videos get a 28% boost
Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets
Including a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets
Hashtags receive a 16% boost
With content marketing being exhausted the mode of how messages will be transported will naturally become more important in order to differentiate from the competition. The growth of videois becoming undeniable along with it’s important to content marketing.
Measure, Measure, Measure – The importance of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) is so vitally important to any content marketing strategy in order for it’s true effectiveness to be evaluated and ROI calculated. If you are lucky enough to have an in house specialist ensure they work closely with the marketing team and content creators.
Communicate, Listen & Integrate – The CRO specialist will be able to give insights into what content is working and isn’t working as well as which channels are most effective. If you are working with a Digital Agency like us try and keep in touch regularly whether it’s chats via skype or face-to-face meetings. The Digital Talent Gap is quite concerning so ensuring all talents are appreciated, listened to and integrated is extremely important to the effectiveness of any content marketing strategy.
Having been a digital specialist for 10 years it still amazes me how much the digital landscape has evolved and mutated into what we experience and live in now. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below.
Don’t become a #SharingSheep, stay original and keep it real