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Content Marketing

Posted by bc1mpac7 on April 2, 2014

What it is and why you should care

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By Barbara Baker Clark

Content marketing is the process of building a relationship with targeted prospects by giving away valuable content. The idea is that potential customers will find value in the content and overcome their skepticism (more on that later) about your for-sale products and services.

Content marketing is so hot right now that an overwhelming number of marketers are scrambling to put together a program. Two recent surveys show just how loud the buzz is:   

  • 93% of marketers (B2B) told the Content Marketing Institute that they are currently using content marketing, up from 91% last year.
  • Marketers (both B2B and B2C) recently told Curata that they spent 30% of their overall budget on content marketing in 2013; 71% of them also said they plan to increase that percentage in 2014.

Content marketing is not a new concept

Content marketing as an outreach strategy is not new; it has been used for decades. Over the years, every time Campbell’s® soup gave away a recipe, the company was engaging in content marketing. Whenever a newsletter publisher gave away a sample issue, it was content marketing. And whenever a service provider gave a presentation to an industry group or hosted an event, it was content marketing.

What is new is the type and reach of content available

The difference today is the number of available format options. In addition to traditional content such as white papers, product samples, events, presentations and reports, marketers can choose to develop:   

  • eBooks
  • eNewsletters
  • Digital magazines
  • Online presentations
  • Social media posts
  • Blogs
  • Webinars or Webcasts
  • Microsites
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Apps
  • Games
  • And more

We also have so many more options for distribution, including social networks, video channels, photo-sharing sites, online communities and niche content sharing sites. And that’s just what’s available currently; new content channels continue to debut regularly.

Content marketing can help you reach more customers

Content marketing is getting so much buzz lately because it addresses increasing consumer skepticism. The average person is assaulted with a barrage of 577 new marketing messages per week and retains less than 1% of those, according to MarketingExperiments.com. Content marketing is a way to break through that noise and convince consumers that you are the real deal.

This is why content marketing is increasingly relevant. It’s also why so many marketers will continue to invest in it heavily for the foreseeable future.

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