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What’s happening with content marketing?

The short answer is… tons. Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, content marketing—aka inbound marketing—is a primary marketing approach employed by an overwhelming majority of companies in their lead-generation activities.

Content marketing is king

Consider these quick facts about web-based content marketing:

  • 93% of companies use content marketing
  • 99% of B2B buyers say content affects purchase decisions
  • There are 13 different types of content being used
  • 82% of companies acquired a customer with an active blog and an active blog generates 67% more leads
  • 347 blog posts are published every minute of every day
  • 68% outsource content development
  • 20-40% of current marketing budgets are for content, and 75% of companies plan to increase their content marketing budget

Why are businesses big on content? According to recent research, the average person consults 10.4 different sources before making a purchase decision. Why is that? Content marketing allows businesses to influence buyers in the context of their search for information. By offering thought leadership, case studies or other relevant information, businesses can connect with potential buyers even before they know they need the company’s product or service.

But just because everyone’s doing it doesn’t mean they’re doing it well.

Content marketing is a form of triage. As prospects sift through information, they make instantaneous decisions regarding whom to engage and whom to eliminate—based entirely on what they read or see and learn from others. This all takes place behind the scenes, before they’ve downloaded content from your website or engaged with anyone on your sales team.

So the question is: Are you engaging prospects and laying the groundwork for future business through effective content marketing?

Barriers to content marketing

Embarking on a content marketing initiative is no small undertaking. It takes commitment, discipline and time to get it right. It starts with really knowing what your prospects are looking for and when they need it. For example, a specific purchase cycle or external event may trigger their quest to find a solution. You also need to know who does the research, which in B2B may not be the same individual who ultimately makes the purchase.
Even with the right targets in mind, content marketing can be an uphill battle.

  • 69% of B2B companies say the largest challenge with content marketing is 
lack of time
  • 93% of companies create content from scratch

Businesses are striving to create a fresh supply of custom content to keep their brands on top of search results pages and prospects’ minds. You can save time by investing in high-quality pieces that connect with your audience. Content that’s on point can be repurposed into additional value-added assets.

Over the last few years the content landscape has changed. No longer is content marketing limited to a white paper or case study assets. Content diversity, cross-channel promotion and originality are new factors for SEO (and overall marketing) success.

Elements of effective content

Remember, people engage with what interests them.

Ultimately, content needs to be relevant to each prospect. You can uncover what your prospects want to know by examining the typical buyer’s journey. It also helps to study influencers and take cues from what they’re talking about with your audiences.

When it comes to creating content, here a few things to think about:

  • Video can increase click-through rates as much as 96% and 75% of buyers say video is the most effective web content
  • An email with a visual element is 82% more likely to be read
  • Infographics generate 12% more traffic and are shared 3x more than documents
  • 10% of searches are for in-depth content

Measure, refine and repeat

Putting content into the webosphere without the ability to track its impact is another challenge facing businesses. It’s important to create metrics that will inform future efforts and help you build on successes (and ax the losers). But that’s a topic for another article …

If you’re already managing a content marketing initiative, it may be time to review your prospect needs and refresh your existing assets. If you’re not getting the leads you used to, just give us a call and explore how we can help you boost sales with effective content marketing.

Visit our resources page to download the content marketing infographic now.

Statistics were compiled from various industry sources published in 2015 and early 2016.