And if we simply look at the facts and figures we can start to see why movement in this direction is essential.
According to a recent marketing industry survey run by moz.com…
The vast majority of respondents (85%) reported being directly involved with content marketing, which was on par with 2014 and nearly two-thirds (66%) of agency content marketers reported “Content for SEO purposes” as their top activity.
From a professional perspective in terms of overall demand for services, we find in the same study that both “Content Creation” and “Content Curation” showed solid demand increases – within the top 5 most demanded agency services.
Alternatively, from a consumer perspective, the sales process is shifting to a point where:
57% of purchase decisions are made before a customer ever talks to a supplier, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (via: Target Marketing
Even with this information alone we can see why having an effective content marketing strategy in place can be of great benefit.
Let’s go a step further and examine the top 10 benefits of content marketing.
Content Marketing Facts
1. Documenting Your Strategy
Content Marketing Institute recently released the results of their latest marketing survey. It reveals that documenting the content marketing strategy is often the most neglected factor, which was evident among a good number of companies. While the lack of documentation may be somewhat concerning, what we did discover was that regardless of this oversight 83% percent did however claim to have a content marketing strategy in place. Here are the specifics of the survey…
Most B2B marketers have a content marketing strategy — but only 35 percent have documented it: In last year’s survey, we asked for the first time whether marketers had a documented content marketing strategy. Forty-nine percent said “no,” which left us wondering whether a lot of those marketers did indeed have a strategy, but had just not documented it. Sure enough, we found that many do have a strategy (83 percent), but only 35 percent have documented it.
2. Content Marketing Team
Statistics, once again, show evidence that investing in a content marketing team is vital to building a business. A Hubspot article examined the state of inbound marketing and found the following:
Marketers work in very small teams: 81% of all content teams contain fewer than six people.
Blogs require roughly 9% of marketers’ total full-time staff dedications and demand just 7% of marketers’ total budgets.
16% of companies employ a full-time social media specialist and 11% are paying a dedicated email marketer.
3. Content Marketing Metrics
From a business perspective, sales and profits are key to success, however analyzing recent data, specifically content marketing metrics seems to be another overlooked factor as seen here…
54% of B2C marketers measure sales, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2014.
39% of B2C marketers measure higher conversions. This is related to revenues because better conversion rates translate to more sales closed for each piece of content.
39% of B2C marketers measure SEO ranking. Since content marketing supports your search optimization strategies, this reduces search marketing expense.
4. Blogging Frequency
There are many positive direct and indirect benefits associated with being an active content marketing publisher:
Inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound leads.
Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.
Companies that blog generate 126% more leads than those that don’t.
5. Increase Follower Numbers
Social media is all about engaging with your audience. When you provide quality content your audience will respond with likes and follows. This naturally translates to shares and word of mouth, which is an incredibly powerful marketing tool.
Inboundway found that, “Publishing engaging and interesting content on your social media accounts is listed as one of the top 3 reasons people follow brands on social media”.
6. Optimizing and Diversifying Social Media Efforts
Regardless of the type of business that you run increasing revenues is most likely at the forefront of your goals. You want to engage in activities that impact your ROI and social media has proven itself to be the vehicle of choice when used right.
Take advantage of varied social media networks available today and make sure to maximize content syndication. Test the different channels and find the ones that work the best for your market.
Here are some revealing usage stats:
More than 70% of B2B marketers use the “big four” social media sites – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – to distribute content. Just 55% use Google+. And only 34% use Pinterest, 22% Instagram, 22% Vimeo, 15% StumbleUpon, and 14% Tumblr.
7. Maximize Social Media Efforts
When implementing a content marketing strategy it is important to maximize your efforts. Study your consumer demographics and be active in those channels where your perspective clients spend most of their time. Understand the differences between B2B and B2C businesses and how those differences translate into social media. While it may not be good to spread yourself too thin, it also will not serve you well to focus your energy on low ROI activities.
If your business falls under the B2B category and you have not spent any time on LinkedIn then you may need to rethink your strategy. According to a study by Inside View, LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually with 61% of U.S. marketers using social media to increase lead generation.
8. Video Marketing
How often do you click on the play button when landing on a webpage? Video usage has grown exponentially and will continue to do so in the years to come. It no longer is an optional component of your content marketing strategy, but rather an integral one.
Even if you are simply converting content from a blog post to a video, or using someone else’s video to demonstrate or strengthen your position, you simply cannot go without it.
If your company is not taking full advantage of video production then you are missing out on heaps of traffic, not to mention the ranking benefits. Cisco’s video usage forecast, which is part of the Cisco Visual Networking Index revealed the following:
- It would take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2019. Every second, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the network by 2019.
- By 2017, online video will make up nearly 70% of consumer Internet traffic.
- Content delivery network traffic will deliver over half of all internet video traffic by 2019. By 2019, 72 percent of all Internet video traffic will cross content delivery networks, up from 57 percent in 2014.
- Globally, consumer internet video traffic will be 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2019, up from 64 percent in 2014.
9. Building Relationships With Your Customers
If you want to stay ahead of your competitors than you better get up close and personal with your consumers. 78% of consumers believe that organizations providing custom content are interested in building good relationships with them.
Content marketing after all is all about building those connections, sharing stories that your visitors can relate to, and ideally fixing their problems. It’s an investment that will translate into lifelong customers.
Content Marketing Institute recommends that you start viewing your audience as a community, as friends. When you make this simple shift in how you interact and engage you become the one that genuinely wants to help. A great way to find out the struggles of your visitors is to send out a survey and then start responding to what people have written.
10. Trust Factor
In addition to building good relationships with your consumers, you also want to ensure that you are building trust. It is the element of trust that will keep them coming back and ideally turning them into lifelong customers and supporters.
So make sure that you are providing a constant flow of quality content, include testimonials when possible, share customer success stories, and so on. Be genuine. Be helpful. Jodi Harris says, “Content is essential to supporting loyal, trusting relationships between brands and consumers”. She continues to share these stats:
- 82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content. (Demand Metric, 2014)
- 90% of consumers find custom content useful. (Demand Metric, 2014)
- 61% of consumers say they feel better about, and are more likely to buy from, a company that delivers custom content. (Custom Content Council, 2011)
Content marketing is a strategy that works. The facts and figures certainly speak for themselves. However, it is the impact that it has had on communities and people that has contributed directly to its accelerated growth. So if you are not yet using content marketing then try it out. Start small, measures the results, and see how quickly it changes your business.