Why is content marketing so important in the future and how can you use it for your business?
The world is changing right now.
Since 2012, consumer behavior around the world has been shaped by the digital natives. Digital natives are people who have grown up in the age of digital technologies.
Some industries have been feeling the change for some years now, others are still noticing very little of it because we are currently in the so-called transformation phase of digitalization. From 2020, however, the digital natives will be in the majority for the first time and traditional consumers will lose more importance.
Source: pwc (Swiss auditing and consulting firm)
Digitisation will therefore bring about profound changes over the next 10 years. For example, media consumption is changing dramatically. We are no longer watching television and listening to radio less, but we are watching Netflix and listening to Spotify. The new generation has grown up with Google, without googling a product beforehand or comparing it on special portals, no major purchases are made and no service provider is engaged. Opinions are formed on Snapchat and Instagram. So-called influencers hold products in the camera and say what is important and good today.
This also means that marketing is changing. In addition to classical forms of advertising, companies should definitely consider another very effective new form of marketing: content marketing.
What exactly is content marketing and how did it come about?
10 years ago, Seth Godin, an American author and entrepreneur, noticed that the world was changing and that the new generation was behaving in a completely different way. He was already talking about a marketing world where customers should be helped to buy something by solving a problem for them. One should not buy attention, but earn it.
Whenever a new trend emerges, a modern English term is needed. But that doesn't necessarily have to be bad, because such trendy artificial words, also known as buzzwords, are usually created when professionalization takes place in a field.
This is also the case with content marketing. Content is actually nothing new. Content is content and there has always been content in marketing. We have been working with texts, images, graphics and videos for a long time. New are the many possibilities, formats and channels that digitalization brings with it. And exactly this addressed professionalization led in the last years to the fact that new methods were developed, with which content can be used very successfully for marketing purposes.
Content marketing is therefore the professional handling of a wide variety of content. It is about exploiting the strengths of the different formats and channels and then distributing the content cross-media.
What are the benefits of content marketing?
There are a number of advantages. The most important are:
- You have everything in your hands: With content marketing, you can determine everything yourself. You determine the content, the formats and where you finally publish your content. You can also adjust your content at any time.
- Brand awareness and customer loyalty: Content marketing helps you to increase your brand awareness and with content marketing you can convince your customers of your expert knowledge. They will gain confidence in your company and won't turn away from you in a hurry.
- Virality: Good and entertaining content is often shared in social networks. So you can achieve a large reach with little effort and money.
What are the disadvantages of content marketing?
Of course there are also disadvantages, whereby you can weigh them up and control them yourself. It is important to always keep an eye on the effort and yield, because contrary to what is often claimed, content marketing is by no means free of charge.
It is even so that the high expenditure keeps enterprises frequently from content marketing to operate, because it needs appropriately trained coworkers in the most diverse ranges and the production is particularly at the beginning often very aufwndig.
Depending on the objective, for example, a classic ad makes more sense. Content marketing is also a long-term affair, success often only becomes apparent after half a year or later.
But wait a minute, aren't classic ads also content? Of course, but today we distinguish between outbound marketing and inbound marketing. In outbound marketing, the content is published via various channels. That's how it's always worked so far. We produce content and place it in different media.
In inbound marketing, content is created that is supposed to draw customers to its own channels. The content is not placed on external media as an ad, it is published on your website, in your newsletter or on your social media profiles. Or in other words, the customer finds your content himself because he was looking for a solution to a problem. Modern content marketing actually means inbound marketing.
The classic outbound marketing formats:
- TV advertising
- Radio Advertising
- print ads
- Direct mail and mailings
- Flyers and posters
- public relations
- cold acquisition
- Banner Advertising
- video ads
- Social Media Ads
The new inbound marketing formats:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Social Media & Community Management
- Email Marketing
- landing pages
- Influencer Marketing
- Viral Marketing
- recommendation marketing
It is not a question of replacing one method with another. Both marketing strategies still have their justification. They only work differently and serve different behaviors. The best thing is still a well thought-out marketing mix and a multichannel strategy. This has not changed even in times of digitization.
How does content marketing work?
In content marketing, we have the great advantage of being able to influence or shape the customer's path from start to finish.
First of all, we want to generate attention and attract as many visitors as possible to our website - only that alone does not help. Because only with visitors no company has sold anything.
But as soon as the visitors give you their e-mail address or telephone number, they emerge from the anonymous mass and identify themselves. In technical jargon, they become a contact or a lead and we can use email marketing, for example, to ensure that they return to us and also buy something.
There are many ways to generate attention. Either you place advertisements as usual or you produce content which the prospective customer finds via a search engine or social media. A company blog is particularly suitable for this.
Convert interested parties to leads
As mentioned above, you are trying to get the visitor's contact information when he or she lands on your website. Today this is usually the email address. There are many aspects that play an important role. In technical jargon one also speaks of Conversion Optimization or User Experience Design. The point is that the website should not only be beautiful, but also understandable. The navigation should be logical and take the user by the hand and forms are designed to be as easy as possible to fill out. Today, for example, it is also very important that a website is optimized for mobile devices and that websites are technically developed in such a way that even people with disabilities are not excluded. The better the usability, the more interested people will leave you their contact details.
Get the leads back and complete the purchase
Once you have a customer's email address, you have an ace up your sleeve. Because even if all your marketing efforts didn't lead to the purchase, you have the possibility to bring potential customers back to your website through clever email marketing.
By the way, our Pimcore solutions even give you the ability to segment customers by interest, demographics, and geography on first contact. So, depending on the segment, you have the ability to display content that fits your customers. Providing your customers with exactly the content they expect can have a significant impact on the success of your marketing campaigns.
Blog & Landingpages
We want to devote more attention to the topics «blogging» and «landing pages», because they are two excellent content marketing tools to attract customers to your company presence in the long run.
With a corporate blog you have the chance to regularly deliver high-quality content to your customers, with which you can address their problems and offer suitable solutions. This is a very good way to attract customers to your website and convince them of your competence at the same time. Another, very big advantage; Google likes good and extensive blog articles. The chance that such a blog article will appear on Google's first page is therefore very high. This kills two birds with one stone.
The same applies to landing pages. Landing pages are special areas on your website that are optimized for a specific topic. As the name suggests, landing pages are all about getting customers to land on them. Often they are created in connection with a special advertising campaign.
For example, if a car dealer is planning a promotion to sell a specific type of car, they may place ads in the Week Pass and Google Ad-Words. However, he will not direct both advertising measures to the homepage of the website but to a special landing page on which the visitor will find exactly the content promised to him in the advertisement. This increases the chances that many visitors will quickly find what they are looking for and thus more likely to make a purchase or at least leave their e-mail address behind.
You may be wondering how you should proceed to establish content marketing in your company to make it work.
It is important that you define a content marketing strategy at the beginning. Many companies run aimlessly and think too much about channels at a very early stage. This approach is wrong. One often hears that "we are now also doing Facebook". This is commendable, but has nothing to do with a content strategy and rarely leads to the goal.
The right approach is:
- Setting goals (What do we want to achieve with our content?)
- Define target group (whom do we want to reach?)
- Create a plan (How do we want to proceed?)
- Define formats
- Select channels
So actually exactly the opposite of what most people do; considerations regarding the channels follow only at the end.
Once the strategy has been defined, the planning follows. You should clarify the responsibilities in advance and create an editorial plan. It is also advisable to schedule regular editorial meetings and discuss which content makes sense in the team. This increases the chance that you can deliver content on a regular basis. Because only those who stay on for a longer period of time will be successful.
First you should develop the idea. Ask yourself what you want to achieve with the content and what story you want to tell. Nobody likes a boring list of theoretical facts. Tell the background of your offer and show the people behind the company. Readers love living stories.
Once the story is written, the formats are defined. Because even if your original format is a text, it doesn't have to stay that way. Depending on which possibilities are available to your company, further formats can be created from one text.
- Blog article
- email newsletter
- landing pages
- Instructions or tutorials
- eBook or Case Studies
- Photos or graphics
- Webinars or Slideshows
- Audio or Podcasts
- Press releases
Only when all formats have been produced do you select the appropriate channels. Classical media, social networks, other company websites or blogs, influencers and many other channels can be considered.
Especially foreign blogs or company sites are very interesting, if they fit thematically. By a guest article one can reach so fast a high range.
Another interesting approach is called sicht Content Recycling. Often one does not think of the fact that somewhere in the enterprise already good contents are present. Usually one must revise these only easily and bring in form. This saves time and nerves.
Just relying on content marketing and neglecting all other marketing methods would not be the right approach. Content marketing is not the answer to all problems, it belongs as part of the whole in the marketing concept.
But with the right approach, content marketing is a very sustainable and good option, which complements the existing marketing and will certainly gain in importance as digitalization progresses.
Even if it sounds tempting at first glance to acquire new customers by creating content, you have to keep in mind that a lot of work is involved. Without a well-thought-out strategy and careful planning, success usually fails and you give up frustratedly after a short time.
We recommend to every company, which thinks about marketing in times of digitalization, to consult an expert beforehand and if necessary to be accompanied during the implementation. Then the chance is very high that you will reach the new generation with your marketing campaigns in the future.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment and we will be happy to answer them.