Going into social without relevant content is like giving a seminar without having a talk. You’ve been given a platform, but what’s the value in someone listening to you if you don’t have anything worth saying?
Content has much more substance than traditional online advertisement. Whereas the objective of a PPC or display ad would be to get a click or conversion, content has the ability to create a much more salient connection, providing uses and solutions to current customers and serves to highlight the tangible benefits to prospective ones.
Although content marketing has been around for over a century (John Deere, Lego and Intel have all had content marketing initiatives for some time) it’s becoming increasingly important due to the shifting consumption habits of customers. Fundamentally, there’s a move from episodic, short duration ‘push’ campaigns towards longer-term, continual ‘pull’ content initiatives. Whereas push involves a media buy, pull relies on a well-built, engaged and relevant interpersonal network. To adapt to this transition, we must learn to function more like publishers, producers of content and connectors of people. With the increasing affordability of publishing tools like WordPress and social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you don’t have to have a huge budget to take advantage of delivering important and relevant content to your market.
#1 Fragmenting markets means traditional media outlets are becoming less and less effective at reaching a relevant audience
Now that people have more choice over what content they wish to consume, traditional media outlets are increasingly losing both their reach and lack the efficiency of being able to target a specific market as something more niche would.
#2 It’s how companies are increasingly finding new customers
Whilst it would be stupid to ignore traditional channels altogether, over 61% of companies studied found customers via LinkedIn, 67% via Facebook and 53% via Twitter. Blogs are also 63% more likely to influence a purchase decision than a magazine and good content increases a companies reputation, with 60% of consumers feeling more positive about a company after reading content they’ve produced.
#3 It compliments your other marketing activity
Having a blog gives sites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links. More links + more pages = a bigger online presence across the board. Think it’s strange that 63% of companies said posting content on social media has increased campaign effectiveness? Chrysler spent $12million on this 2 minute spot at the Super Bowl for a maximum potential of 100million views, the cost of 14million plus views for uploading it to YouTube? Nothing. It’s important to note that the reason Super Bowl advertising often overlooks the hard sell in favour of creative, interesting and entertaining content, making it perfect for social.
#4 Consumers are becoming much more informed making it increasingly difficult to sell to them
Customers no longer see sales people and advertising as source of reputable information. The more quality content you create, the more reputable your opinion becomes. Of course, if you’re lying, you will be uncovered, but if you’re shipping something you’re passionate about and believe in, your enthusiasm will become contagious.
#5 Content sticks around
Once a traditional advert is served, that media unit is gone forever. When you’re creating and publishing content through your own platform, it stays there to be found, shared and viewed for as long as you want.
Now we’ve outlined some of the benefits, what do you think are the main restraints of brands allocating more resource to creating great content?