The internet is flooded with articles on how content marketing is dying!
So, is content marketing dead? Is this true? The short answer to this is- NO! And the long answer and explanation for this what I will take you through now!
The reality is that content marketing is having a renaissance. And this renaissance is hugely affecting the overall marketing mix.
‘A’ Of The Alphabets Series- What Is Content Marketing?
When we look up a dictionary, it defines content marketing as “A type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
This means as a business the content you generate for your content marketing strategy should add ‘value’ to the targeted audience. And this would lead to them generating interest in your product and ultimately buying it. The term ‘valuable content’ is of the essence. The content is not an advertisement. It is more like a story, information that the business provides on and around the topic.
|Content Marketing Should Add VALUE To Your Target Audience|
Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.Content Marketing Institute
So, it is about retaining customers by generating constant ‘valuable content’ that intends to alter or enhance a target consumer behavior.
So, in the crux, brands communicate about their products/ services without actually hard-selling about it.
There is one thing for sure- ‘Marketing’ is not possible without content.
|‘Marketing’ Is Not Possible Without Content|
Why Is It Appearing Lifeless Now?
There are two major reasons behind content marketing has begun to appear lifeless now-
- People no more know what exactly it is. Content marketing is an ‘umbrella term’ and doesn’t have any well-defined serious direction.
- Businesses and marketers have not been able to adapt to the swiftly changing content marketing industry trends.
But, successful content marketers all over the globe strongly believe that smart content marketing can never have an expiry date, it would continue to pay dividends forever!
Yes, but they also stress on the fact that ‘content alone’ is not the only thing that can do magic. Content needs to have elements of community, approachability, huminization, kinship incorporated in it. Focus on helping pays off rather than focus on selling!
What Has Changed Now?
When the digital revolution of marketing began, it was a time of stringing a few 500 word articles, enriched with specific keywords together. We no longer live in such times.
Content marketing has changed.
So, does it mean content marketing is no longer as ‘revolutionary’ as it was when it began? Has it lost its charm?
Is it because of the voluminous content that is being generated with each passing day that has attributed to the loss of charm of ‘content marketing’? So, it is dying out?
Content marketing is not dead. It is the ‘old ways’ of content marketing and ‘bad content marketing’ that is dead and needs to be shown the exit path.
There is no second to this. Content marketing is beneficial for your business. It is just a means to achieve such benefits that are changing. Today, just posting good content on your company website/ blog/ social media handles does not work. Organics engagements no more can do the bit.
|Content Marketing WAS, IS and WILL BE Beneficial For Business.|
Competition is heavy and just content ‘alone’ isn’t enough. Click baiting is dead and needs to go!
A few key statistics accordingly a Wordstream-
Businesses save upto 62% when opting for content marketing over traditional marketing methods.
78% of the customers rely more on white papers than any other material before deciding on a purchase.
As a business, you have great products. Your marketer has also created the best possible content in the world. BUT without the right promotion and marketing, all can go waste. Simply tossing great content and waiting does not work.
What is required is a ‘killer’ strategy. It is about creating ‘audience-centred’ content. It is vital for a business to take efforts to first understand their audience. This way the business also understands things that are important to the audience which becomes a medium to present ideas to them, in a manner that it reaches them the best way. Working with influencers can also help immensely!
The buzz that content marketing is dead in just over-exaggeration. Content will always be required. What we need to understand now is that it is changing and businesses need to adapt to this change in the right way to stay beneficial.
Causes Attributing To Content Burnout
2 pointers have played a role in the burnout of content-
Inside-out content strategy
Usually, a business generates content ‘inside-out’. What is present in the content is a combination of all its internal teams believe the customer ‘should’ know. Slowly the primary aspect of ‘what a customer needs’ gets lost in front of what the business thinks the customer should know.
Overabundance of channels
Today there are wide varieties of channels available for a business to show themselves on. And such mediums are constantly evolving.
For a business, it gets a very tough job to be able to determine which channel it should choose for what kind of audience. Yes, omnichannel marketing is a perfect solution but it is also a very tough one.
Paid Content Amplification
Content advertising can get your content in view of your target audiences. But it needs to go beyond the boundaries of SEO, blogging, social media posting.
The need of the hour is paid content amplification.
Paid amplification is like a perfect link connecting a well-created blog/ piece of content that is SEO optimized and put to display in front of an intentionally planned target audience.
It’s simple- advertise only to those audiences who are the most interested in your offering and highly likely to buy it.
Ensure that the content is good, and worth the time of your target and can give them value- this makes it a WIN for both the business and the customer.
Let’s explain this better-
Imagine this scenario-Your business has created wonderful content. This content is bang on point about the issues your target audience faces and how you can help.
You share it on all possible mediums- company blog, social media. Now all you can do is wait. Wait for your specific audience to read it and act on it. Wait!
Had you opted for paid content amplification, the chances of your ‘wonderful’ content reaching your target exponentially higher? This is what makes a very effective content marketing crusade.
How Long Does Content Marketing Take To Show Results?
Our world today is a fast-paced one. ‘instant’ is the word of the generation. But as it is said, “The best things take time”. This is true even for content marketing!
Investing in content marketing is a long game! Usually, the results of high-quality constant content marketing efforts take anywhere between 6 to 9 months to begin showing results.
Studies show that content marketing works out at 62% cheaper costing than traditional marketing. Plus, it has the power to generate 3X the number of leads!
As a business, it is vital that you have this one thing very clearly understood. Content marketing is not your usual short-term, marketing campaign, the ones that begin to show results as quickly as a month to 3-months! You need to have patience and constant focus on iterating on your well-planned content marketing plan
Content marketing is a continual process calling for strategic investments from the business. And it is only with time that the business would begin to see an increase in ROI and a decrease in cost per lead.
Content Marketing Is Like ‘Working Out’… For Your Business!!! Slow and steady efforts get gains and keep you in good shape!
That’s a strange comparison- comparing working out and content marketing! But I will tell you why it’s apt-
- Both can’t show results overnight!
- Doing exactly the same thing over and over again ( same exercise routine daily for months together just makes you complacent, nothing else) does not work. Just like we need to constantly change workout routines, similarly a content marketer constantly needs to learn and apply newer things to be able to do well.
- Different things for different people– Not everyone can achieve the same results by following the exact same workout routine/ diet. We know each body is different and needs a tailored approach to attain a particular level of fitness. Same goes for any business. The exact same content marketing strategy can never work for two businesses.
The kind of business, its size of operations, location, resources, and goals have a huge impact on deciding the kind of content marketing strategy to implement.
Can We Quicken The Process?
Yes, you can quicken the process of the growth of your business a little by publishing more great content at a quicker frequency ensuring no compromise on the quality. This way you would be able to rank better for long-tail keywords.
According to a study by HubSpot, businesses that publish more than 16 blog posts a month are more likely to get 4.5 times more leads when compared to businesses who publish 0-4 blog posts in the same duration.
But this would obviously require a higher budget allocation and spending on resources for framing your content marketing strategy. And likewise, a higher time investment on social media promotions too!
So basically a reply for How long does content marketing take, hugely depends on your content churn out consistency!
The world today has changed. We no longer live in our father’s content marketing era.
Content marketing calls for an unending cycle of planning and implementation, replanning and reimplementation!
So, if someone asks you, is content marketing dead? You can affirmatively tell them No, it isn’t!
Yes, content is getting mature. But it is equally true that still it gives an amazing ROI!
Did you know that 47% of buyers view a minimum of 3-5 pieces of content even before they talk to a sales representative when they have a thought of buying a product?
Did you know businesses that have well written blogs get 67% higher leads when compared to businesses who do not publish blogs!
What content marketing needs is a ‘facelift’.
|Content Marketing Needs A FACELIFT.|
What a business needs to ensure now is that their content
- Isn’t superficial
- Is uber-personalized
- It is responsible and transparent
It is all about understanding what works, what a business can do and what works with the target audience. And this is where professionals like Towards90 can come to your rescue.
Our team of enthusiastic content marketers understand what works and what doesn’t and what exactly would be best for your business.
If your business is looking for guidance to figure out a content marketing strategy, give us a shout and we can help you bring back your content marketing strategy to life.