Content Marketing – why now? Part 2

In last week’s blog I commented on the increased interest and resource being allocated to content marketing as evidenced in Econsultancy’s latest Quarterly Intelligence briefing for Digital Trends for 2013.

Digital marketing trends for 2013

Digital marketing trends for 2013

So this week I want to explore why content marketing is as significant to marketers as social media and mobile optimisation.

I’m sure that there are many marketers who would argue that content has always been at the centre of their marketing efforts so what’s changed so significantly in the last 18 months.

Arguably the change has come about through a number of much wider changes in the digital landscape i.e. broadband, Web 2.0, mobile and social media.  But the main impact of these has been to change the buying behaviour of customers.  Here’s some collected observations from the marketplace:

  • Third party first – vendor last. This is the new mantra in buying behaviour. Customers will research the market extensively before engaging with the seller.
  • Noise. There is so much information competing for the customer’s attention that referral (digital word-of-mouth) is increasingly important.  This also means that a business has to create, optimise and share exceptional content if it is to be noticed.
  • Customer influence. The ability for the customer to share, like and comment on; are all putting more power in the customer’s hands to influence
  • Two-way communication.  There is a shift away from one-way communication – from marketers to consumers (broadcast) – toward a two-way conversation.  This requires marketers to have a more systematic way to satisfy customer demands and manage word-of-mouth (engagement).
  • Alignment.  Aligning all elements of marketing (strategy, spend, channels, and message) with the journey that a customer undertakes when they make buying decisions.

All of the above has meant that traditional marketing techniques such as mass market broadcast are no longer as effective at reaching target audiences. New marketing techniques are required and content marketing has arisen in importance because of that.

I would also add another reason why content marketing is grabbing the headlines and that is to do with increased pressure on resources – both human and budget.  Businesses are having to look at headcount and how they spend their marketing budget.  One of the real benefits of content marketing is how it can leverage marketing efficiency and demonstrate a Return On Marketing Investment (ROMI).  I’ll explore these in greater detail in the next few weeks.

Next week I’ll discuss content sources and planning.

If you missed last week’s blog on What is Content Marketing catch up here>> or if you want to make sure that you don’t miss next week’s post please subscribe to the newsletter.

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