Content marketing, a strategic marketing approach, which focuses on creating distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to both attract and retain a defined audience, is imperative for companies to understand. Furthermore, content marketing offers more flexible opportunities for marketers to reach customers in their path to purchasing. According to the American Marketing Association, content marketing has several purposes, to be useful, helpful, relevant, and entertaining to consumers.
Although it is difficult to put an exact figure on annual expenditure on content marketing, according to an article found on The Drum in conjunction with PQ Media, about $ 144 billion is spent globally. This figure is set to rise to $313 billion by the end of 2020. Furthermore, based on 2014 figures from a U.S.- based Content Marketing Institute, over 71 percent of business to consumer marketers use content for acquisition. Acquisition, in terms of content marketing, is defined as getting something from a customer, such as a sale of an item or even an email address. A relationship starts between a company and the consumer by completing any kind of acquisition.
One of the main online marketing strategies to employ is driven by content marketing. Previously online marketing success was determined by which website could produce the highest volume in quality written content. However, online marketing has evolved to where the importance relies more on connections, format diversity, and how marketers connect with consumers using multiple mediums. Content marketers now have to adapt to the constantly changing technologies faster than ever. Additionally, with online marketing, search engine optimization, or SEO, is no longer enough to get a website the top number of hits by users. However, a combination of SEO and content marketing plays an important role to the success of the online portion of a business. These two digital marketing tools, if used in harmony, can help increase the optimization of marketing to consumers.
Visual content, an aspect of content marketing, will need to be revised as wireless connections and internet speeds continue to increase. Consumers have more capacity to access images and videos, even while on the go, causing written content to become even more saturated. Users will demand more visual forms of content and marketers must recognize this aspect of content marketing to meet the demand. Moreover, as mentioned in a previous post, interactive content will continue to emerge as users demand content that is responsive to user prompts. Virtual reality headsets, such as the Occulus Rift, played an integral part of the first introduction of customizable and interactive medium for content. Interactive content allows content to become even more individually tailored.
Content marketing is one of the quickest ways to capture a target audience at all stages of the buying cycle. Through content marketing, prospective buyers are provided with the information needed to help influence buyers across the buying cycle. The continuous process of content marketing empowers marketers to not only attract but also retain customers through consistently creating relevant and valuable content used to alter or enhance consumer behavior. By utilizing a successful content marketing strategy businesses will ultimately be rewarded with consistent business and loyal consumers.
From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:
- What kinds of content works best to acquire consumers?
- How does a content marketing strategy impact a company’s overall business vision?
- Research a company’s content marketing strategy. Determine its advantages and disadvantages.