Step Three of Ten Steps To Marketing Relevance
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Content Marketing
In my last post, Be a Thought Leader, we discussed why thought leadership sits at the pinnacle of content marketing. Now let’s back up and look at content marketing as a whole. What exactly is it? The Content Marketing Institute says: “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”
More and more, organizations are using content marketing to drive customer action and achieve corporate goals such as brand awareness, customer acquisition, lead generation, and customer retention.
Many effective content marketing programs are built around primary research on customer experience in an industry. But research and content development are not cheap, so companies shifting budget there.
According to Marketing Profs’ 2013 B2B Content Marketing Report, the average spend is now 33%, up from 26% two years ago. Marketing Profs also reports that companies rated as “highly-effective” content marketers spend more money across more channels, tailor content to customer profiles, and plan to do more of those things.
As we all know, companies don’t shift budgets this way without anticipation of ROI. Content marketing is becoming a mainstream marketing approach because it works. While I can’t reveal proprietary data, I can verify that the content marketing programs I have created for my employers have shown >400% ROI in the first year, have become part of brand and sales scripts by year two, and have started significant contract conversations by year three. In my experience, it pays to have your story straight.