I recently published a content marketing piece on LinkedIn exploring whether, after 20 years, content is still king – you can check it out here. Alternatively, I’ve summarised the main points below.
After 20 years, is content still king?
Back in 1996, Bill Gates made the landmark proclamation that “content is king”. In the decades since, content marketing has become a mainstay of digital marketing – and everyone wants a piece of the action.
The Internet changed marketing methods and opportunities; with a potential audience of around 3.2 billion people, the worldwide web provides businesses with unrivalled opportunities to present their brand, products and services to the highest number of people – who wouldn’t want to explore that potential for growth?
What is content marketing?
As Internet marketing opportunities have expanded from the basic websites and banner ads that once dominated the digital landscape, brands have caught on to fresher ways of marketing their business.
Over the years, consumers have become increasingly immune to brazen marketing messages and businesses have, thankfully, overhauled the ways in which they communicate with their audiences. Content marketing has surpassed many other methods as a key route for reaching consumers in the most effective way.
Defined as creating and sharing content that doesn’t overtly market a brand, content marketing can take a variety of forms, from interesting infographics to how-to video tutorials. This sort of content is more personal, relevant and valuable to audiences – which makes it instantly more appealing and engaging.
How does content marketing work?
Content can be woven into any marketing strategy with the right knowledge and techniques; understanding the audience is key to getting the best response from content marketing as brands are able to create content that is most relevant to their specific customers.
For example, HR professionals with an interest in the direction of the industry might appreciate a whitepaper full of facts, while home bakers are more likely to enjoy a how-to video that provides a step-by-step guide to creating an enticing new recipe.
Almost 90 per cent of B2B and B2C marketers are currently using content marketing to engage and convert customers, and the number is rising year on year. Content can be published on company websites as blog posts, downloads or news articles, via social media, through press releases and adverts – the opportunities are endless.
Is content still king?
The creation of interesting, relevant content is a priority for many brands going forward – an estimated 4.6 billion pieces of content are produced every day, more than 70 per cent of B2B marketers say they plan to increase content production over the coming year and 50 per cent of B2C content marketers will invest more money in their content marketing efforts over the next 12 months.
With content marketing generating three times more leads and costing on average 62 per cent less than traditional forms of marketing, it’s little wonder brands are so keen to leverage content marketing to their advantage.
It’s a fairly safe bet to say content is not only king but queen and court too. What everyone wants to know now is which way the content marketing industry will go in the future.
Content marketing for the future
Digital is now the norm and more and more companies are understanding that this is the way to reach and engage with audiences. Brands are increasingly tasked with creating personalised digital content that resonates with the audience, giving consumers the information they desire.
Strong branding and storytelling will continue to generate success for companies willing to put in the effort, while appealing to an audience’s emotions is a failsafe principle of advertising that content marketing can tap into to secure consumers’ trust.
The saying goes that you can’t be all things to all people, but with content marketing, you can get close enough.