Daily, billions of searches run through Google, Yahoo, and respective search engines. The raw amount of information being delivered to users has altered the way in which marketing professionals around the globe battle to gain notoriety amongst the noise.
Modern society and the boom of technologically savvy users have completely shifted consumers’ behaviors and approaches to products and purchasing. It is easier than ever with a quick Google search to discover the truth behind any brand and product. The modern consumer is more educated and smarter in their approach to purchasing than before the digital boom.
Sales and marketing teams have been forced to shift their approach. Consumers are impacted by a brand’s choices and views on socio-political issues. Consumers feel that by purchasing, they are themselves investing in that company’s future. A true bond is developed and built between the company and themselves.
Studies have shown that key questions consumers ask themselves before purchasing a product are:
They are more than just customers. A generation of consumers who are keen on being a part of the wave of change by making purchases and supporting companies with similar worldly views to their own. Brand association has never been more important to the consumer, illustrated by studies which revealed that 60% of Small to Medium Businesses claim that half of their revenue is generated through the recurring clientele. Amplifying a sense of involvement and safeguarding trust has been critical for modern companies to thrive within a fiercely competitive market.
McDonald’s Canada is a prime example of a company that understood the fresh face of its consumers. They took it upon themselves to hold a Questions & Answers discussion online to the extent of responding to 10,000 questions. Unfiltered and honest answers gave way an enormous movement of support. The corporation’s authenticity towards customers in taking such a risk and answering the taboo questions bought the company monumental respect.
Alongside a new form of consumer comes a shift in how brands approach both sales and marketing. Content marketing has become the answer to attracting and retaining new customers.
Strategies that saw success in the past no longer do. Saturated and old-fashioned advertising such as television, radio & print simply does not have the international audience reach that can be found through the internet.
The core of Content Marketing is a company’s efforts to create interesting articles and blogs catered directly to a target audience that has similar interests to the product they are trying to sell.
On average, users spend 258 minutes per day browsing online (U.S. based study). With 19% of a user’s time spent devouring content, that means 49 minutes are spent reading marketers’ efforts. Evidence their efforts are paying off. With approximately 70% of users stating that they actively relish reading about brands they’re engaged with, and 80% of people appreciate learning about a business through custom content, there is no clear evidence of a direct correlation between sales success and Content Marketing.
In order for a company to stay up-to-date and relevant in today’s marketplace, it is undoubtedly critical for them to have some form of Content Marketing.
The ultimate aim of any company is to drive relevant traffic to their website. There is a true art form and technical skill to modern digital marketing.
Where digital marketing focuses on the presentational aesthetics of a brand, and it’s digital presence, Search Engine Optimization is enhancing a website’s keywords in order to achieve the highest rankings in search engine results (SERP). The aim is to capitalize on Google’s (and other search engines) free and organic user traffic.
The flip side is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising. As the title suggests, PPC advertising comprises of paying directly to websites with a high volume of traffic such as Google and Facebook. Notably, this is an expensive method, and the reach of the promotion is heavily at the mercy of the company’s marketing budget.
In reference to the aforementioned intelligent consumers, a significant new trend that has emerged is Affiliate marketing. The concept remains the same for marketing managers. Attach your brand with a famous individual (e.g., a Youtuber, Instagram model) that has a large audience. Followers have become very bonded with the content creators they follow. A statement from the said creator about a company’s product can drive a large bonded audience directly to your product.
A simple and effective example of this success is the company Rip Curl. Branded the “ultimate surfing company,” a method they utilize is a publication named The Search. A website dedicated to articles and blogs revolving around the sport, the best surfing locations interviews with world-renowned surfers. Combined with a Youtube Channel that boasts over 130,000 subscribers, it is a pinnacle of the success Marketing Content can have across every company size.
Detecting traffic patterns amongst the sheer volume of data has been a critical part of marketing efforts and is a constantly developing field. Tools such as Google Analytics are immensely effective in tracking a company’s advertising ROI, allowing marketers to gain insights into trends and optimize media purchasing to target a meaningful customer base.
Where Content Marketing really stands out is in the budgetary requirements. On its own Content Marketing is very cheap to produce. Studies have shown that Content Marketing has been 300% more effective in attracting consumers as opposed to other direct-to-consumer outbound marketing efforts. Remarkably to achieve that audience reach its costs (on average) 60% less.
Where the strategy truly shines is in combination with search engine optimization and other ‘traditional’ digital marketing techniques.
Combined with other resources, marketing teams are able to expertly and directly influence traffic to the website. Following consumption, sharing, lead generation, and sales metrics, marketers are able to directly affect product successes.
Calculating the ROI of Content Marketing does not have a straightforward formula. Typically rates of return are calculated by subtracting the cost of investment by the gain from the investment, then divide by the cost of investment to reveal the percentage.
However, there are many tangible and intangible factors that are ROI aspects of content marketing that have far more complicated factors. Naturally, exposure and acquaintance with a brand is important to a company’s growth. Thought leadership is also heavily respected in the current marketplace. Understanding how to calculate these factors and translate them into financial assets is proving extremely difficult for many companies. 62% of companies do not know how to measure the ROI of their campaigns. 60% of companies say it is a challenge to produce engaging content and produce said content consistently.
This demand has been met by companies that specialize in catering to the Marketing Content needs of companies, which understand the complexities and intricacies of content development. Content Marketing companies are adept at navigating the digital world, understanding Google’s algorithm functions, and optimizing content to be on the top of ranking lists.