As the digital age is well on its way to oversaturate the world with equally useful and useless information, the result in general is that John Public is better informed and not as easily persuaded or fooled as in the past.
Because of this, traditional forms of advertising are now rapidly becoming obsolete as digital devices take up more of people’s time than television, radio, newspapers, magazines or any other form of infotainment.
This restructuring in the way consumers absorb and obtain information on companies, brands, products, and everything else has led to the birth of content (or inbound) marketing. Much of content marketing’s success is due to one key feature that sets it apart from other forms of advertising; valuable and useful information for audiences. But despite the resounding reception of content marketing by consumers, most small and medium sized companies, especially those operating on a local or regional level are still hesitant to switch gears.
And if this is you, it’s time to shift. If you have a blog sites, than start blogging relevant content
Below is a bevy of solid facts that prove that content marketing is not only valuable to businesses and communities, but necessary for overall growth and success.
The Rise of the Savvy Consumer
Many consumers conduct a decent amount of research into brands and products before buying in. Many individuals will simply not accept claims from anyone at face value (not even Facebook) and prefer to research the information themselves; information that is now at their fingertips. For this reason, content marketing is an extremely useful tool in convincing consumers that the products you are selling are worthwhile.
Today, 68% of consumers spend substantial time reading content from brands that they find interesting and may consider purchasing from. Additionally, 90% found custom content to be useful. Not only does content marketing provide consumers with additional information on a product or brand, but it also develops credibility, trust and a sense of personal relationship.
On a personal level it is baffling how many times I speak to people in phone calls, interested in staying at our Inn and when I answer their question on whom they are talking to, the conversation gets giddily excited because the guests reviews so often mention my breakfast talents (?) that potential guests already feel they know and trust me.
No surprise here as 70% of today’s consumers state that content marketing materials make them feel closer to the company while 82% of consumers feel increased positivity surrounding a brand after reading custom content.
These statistics are critical aspects of survival for any company, considering that one of the major factors consumers look for in a brand these days is authenticity. Today’s shoppers seek to develop a trust-based relationship with brands. Content marketing is so powerful in this regard that 78% of people believe that organizations who provide custom content are interested in developing positive relationships with them.
Truthfully, no matter what any marketer or business person thinks about content marketing, the proof is in the numbers, and the general population loves custom content. And this trend is only set to explode further as mobile use continues to climb.
The Rise of the Reactive Marketer
As much as consumers love custom content, marketers and businesses love it as well. There has been massive growth in the need for content marketing among companies over the past several years.
Today, 86% of Business to Business (B2B) marketers and 77% of Business to Consumer (B2C) marketers utilize a content marketing strategy. Additionally, 70% of B2B marketers create more content now than in the previous year. This channel of marketing has become so popular that 4 of every 5 marketing leaders have integrated content into their advertising programs.
And these incredibly revealing numbers don’t end there either. Over the next 12 to 18 months, 80% of surveyed companies intend to increase digital marketing budgets while 24% currently allocate 50% or more of marketing budgets to content. It’s the bees knees, people.
Over the past year alone for example, the use of info graphics has skyrocketed from a meager 11% to an astounding 62%.
In 2014, video content for B2B marketing increased in use from 8% to 58%. To further this point, brands that generate 15 blog posts on a monthly basis (One every Two Days) typically average about 1,200 new leads per month. Impressive, don’t you think?
The conclusion here is pretty black and white. To put it plainly, content marketing is now the most effective and engaging form of advertising. The time to ditch traditional marketing plans is now. Content marketing is not going away any time soon and will only become more powerful and influential as time goes on.
Shoppers are simply no longer wooed by flashy ads, sexy images, or persuasive language. Consumers seek useful, unique, informative content on topics that are relevant to them.
The stupid lifestyle ads on TV, featuring 20 year olds talking about wrinkles and early aging risks are seen as hugely irrelevant. Although creating top-notch content may seem like it is daunting task for some, there is plenty of great information and a myriad of fantastic content creation tools and talent available.
Combine the knowledge of relevant content with the most popular mobile delivery systems and you’ll be set for the next 2 to 5 years. Don’t and your business will become an ancient relic; invest time and resources into content marketing and your company stands a much better chance for blazing a trail into the future, however short that may be considering the quick change of technology driven pace.