When people ask me about content marketing, I often want to tell them that it will be tomorrow’s “marketing”. Although content marketing is a relatively new idea, it’s gaining considerable traction among savvy marketers who are realizing the benefits of creating valuable and educational content for their target audiences.
I believe that in the future content marketing will need no explanation, as it will simply be a normal part of a B2B marketing strategy. Here are some factors that are driving this change:
- Buyers are no longer settling for one-size-fits-all marketing. Recent developments – such as social communities, localization and more focused search results – have made people accustomed to finding what they want when they want it. This means that they are tuning out anything that isn’t relevant and honing in on messages that speak to their needs and help solve their problems. Buyers’ needs for relevant content will only increase as the Internet becomes more sophisticated.
- Online advertising is losing its effectiveness. Average banner ad click-through rates have dropped from 3% in the 1990s to 0.2% today. Part of the reason for this decrease is because there is so much online advertising that people have become quite good at ignoring it.
Instead of advertising, HubSpot recommends publishing content. HubSpot has data showing that if you’re publishing, you can attract a lot of people into your site and into your business as leads or sales at low cost.” In addition to bringing more people to your website, content marketing can also position you as a trusted resource who can help your customers solve their biggest challenges. This trumps advertising any day.
- Google recognizes the importance of content. Gone are the days when you can stuff a web page with keywords and get to the first page of Google. Changes in Google’s algorithm have decreased the rankings of sites that are trying to cheat the system and increased the rankings of sites that contain valuable content. Google is using social shares and community interaction to gauge the relevance of a web page and decide where it should be ranked. If you publish lots of content that your audience finds interesting and shares, your SEO rankings will improve.
In the future, content marketing may evolve into something else or go by a different name. However, the core of content marketing – creating valuable content that helps customers solve their biggest concerns – is here to stay.
What about you? Do you believe that content marketing is the marketing of the future? Feel free to leave your thoughts below.