Why Does Content Work For Some And Not For Others?

The online space is witnessing increasing deployment of focused content by companies to drive better user engagement and build awareness of one’s brand. The reason is obvious. Content marketing is proving to be a profitable proposition for creating brand appeal among niche users and reaping rich dividends.  The creation and distribution of meaningful, relevant, informative, easy to understand and implement, consistent and purposeful content can turbocharge your brand’s scalability index.

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Content marketing done in right perspective not only attracts and retains customers but also triggers word of mouth promotion by satisfied evangelists. With content, you are actually making the potential buyers more empowered and intelligent which motivates them to make informed and conscious purchasing decision in your brand’s favour. The underlying theme is that, if you keep providing your prospects with valuable and actionable information, it would get reflected in the form of steady traffic to your site and higher conversions.

Have Companies Benefited from Investment in Content Marketing?

Yes.

Stats from various studies show that the lead generation for content is 3x more compared to outbound marketing whereas the money pumped in for content generation and deployment is 62% lesser.

Additionally, content works because it is in demand. This demand for content can be seen in the online audience – a vast majority of people in the demographic class of 18-50 years prefer online news and content to secure the latest information. As a result, the growth in leads for SMEs which have their own blogs has been reported to be 126% more than those counterparts which don’t believe in blogging. In the USA alone, about 61% of online customers have made their purchasing decisions after going through fact-driven recommendations in blogs.

What Makes Content A Successful Strategy For Brands?

If you go by market-based insights, the reasons would be quite straightforward but many:

  • Good content has the right balance of short and long tail keywords which prompts the search engine crawler to index the related sites for all relevant search queries.
  • Quality content must be posted at frequent intervals; delayed or staggered posts are perfect catalysts for driving away your prospective buyers.
  • Content shouldn’t just be limited to your own blog. To make it work, target high authority sites and build your authority through guest posting.
  • Believable content has to be relatable and authoritative so that readers can rely on the information shared and become experts in navigating problems.
  • Exciting content never lets the focus of readers stray and grasps the short attention span through shorter paragraphs and extensive use of visual creatives.
  • Strong content is never overwhelmed with unnecessary words just for fulfilling the expected length.
  • Readable content uses easy to comprehend words and simple sentence constructs. Good content also eliminates the use of jargon.
  • Marketable content does not repeat ideas and never sports cookie-cutter characteristics.
  • Unique content is plagiarism free; even if ideas have to be borrowed, they are presented with a fresh perspective.
  • Engaging content allows sufficient scope to gauge the sentiments of readers and measures the resonance of ideas shared through user polls, reviews, social media shares etc.
  • Compelling content needs to be interactive and addressed to the readers in a manner that they find it more personal than advertising-centric.
  • Content works more effectively when you give your audience the choice to pick from different formats. This means videos, podcasts, blogs, infographics etc.
  • Updated content always gives reflection to activities of importance that have happened for your brand. And is attuned to the current industry trends.

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Why does Content fail to Deliver for Some?

If your brand fails to leverage the potential of content optimally for rich returns, it must be suffering from one or more of the problems outlined below:

  • The content might be pushy and/or advertising-centric.
  • It might not be working because it offers no real value to readers.
  • If the content is outdated, irrelevant and inconsistent with your brand’s vision- it won’t get you any engagement.
  • Your content could not be working because it might have plagiarism issues. Such content invites penalties from search engines.
  • When content lacks strong and catchy headlines, it fails to catch the reader’s interest. So even if your content is giving really valuable information, it might get skipped because it lacks an engaging structure.
  • Content containing spelling and grammatical errors doesn’t work for the audience.
  • When statements are not backed by facts, they harm your credibility. To make this work, you should link your content to high-authority and reliable sources.
  • When content does not have relevant keywords that would help the search engines categorize it properly, it fails to gain visibility.
  • Content that lacks any thought-provoking characteristics is also bound to fail.

Now that you have realized the apparent bottlenecks that are withholding your content from producing that killer’ effect, it is time to give your content strategy the much-deserved facelift. Skip the don’ts and work on the dos to get the most out of your content strategy.

Matthew Booth is the Global Marketing & Operations Director at SMEGoWeb, a global brand which has helped more than a thousand businesses achieve their online goals. With a decade of agency experience, he is now set out to share his marketing knowledge to help companies refine their digital strategies.

 

Starting a Business: How Bring A-Game in Your Marketing Campaigns

If you are a new startup, then it is essential that you bring your A-game to your marketing game before you even have enough experience to really know what you are doing. That is why it is essential to consider the different components of a campaign. Here are some tips on different marketing components along with basic tips you need to consider.

Television Ads

Almost 90 percent of adults see at least one television commercial every day. Therefore, it can be an important way to let customers know about your product. Using experienced TV and film actors can help deliver a powerful message. Consider which stations are most likely to connect with your target demographic.

Social Media

Social media can be very useful in building company trust as people often use it to find out more about your entity. People often check their favorite social media platforms multiple times a day, so make sure that they see you interacting with your customers when they do. Hiring a brand ambassador or influencer who already has a following can be key to building your audience quickly.

Website

Your company needs a well-organized website. With about 50 percent of all traffic coming from mobile devices make sure that it is optimized for all types of devices. Customers are unwilling to wait for your website to load, so make sure that your landing page loads in under a second. Make sure that your content is informative and well written.

Radio

Depending on who is in your targeted audience, radio can be a powerful way to reach them. Work with an experienced advertising director to create advertising that will capture the essence of your company in under 30 seconds. Then, play your ads on stations where your targeted audience is found.

Newspaper

While some insist that newspapers are dead, they can be an important factor with some targeted audiences. If you are trying to build a local business in a community that still has a newspaper, then advertising there may bring people in your business’ front door. Additionally, if your niche market has a popular newspaper, then appearing there can be a great way to build your brand’s authority.

The right mixture of each of these components depends on your targeted audience. Get to know them and you will learn where your marketing dollars will be most effective. Then, hire the best experts that you can to deliver marketing that will connect instantly with your target audience.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

How To Use Content To Work Smarter with Sales?

Content marketing will change the way you manage your business, and there are many people who will want to use content in a variety of ways to make their company look better. Someone who is using content marketing in the right way can continually use different methods to make their business look great. Content marketing creates exposure, makes brand into household names, and saves a company money.

Nine Steps For The Best Content Marketing That Converts Sales

  1. Start A Blog

A blog is a good way for people to market their company because they can release information to the public with no trouble. You could respond to the public in these situations and will notice that people come by your blog to interact with you more than they could in other places. Blogs are a freeform way of writing, and they make the company must easier to work with.

  1. Hit the pain point

Yes, it is necessary to find the main concerning points of your target audience and develop content accordingly. Suppose if your company provides life insurance then you can create an article on the how responsible dads can keep their family safe.

  1. Use Facebook

Facebook is its own animal when you start doing any form of content marketing. Facebook actually allows you to purchase ads, and you could write articles that are posted to Facebook throughout the day. You might share releases of your new products, or you could link to videos and other things that you want your customers to see. Facebook is one of the more popular places for people to look for information, and people could comment on your posts. The Facebook Messenger is a unique customer service tool that you might use to give instant feedback to your customers.

  1. Use Twitter

Twitter is a place where you can post small bits of information with links. You might use Twitter because you like to be a little bit wittier than your competition, or you could have interactions with other companies on Twitter. You could use Twitter to give vital information to a large group of people, and there are many who will share your tweets throughout the day. You might announce releases on Twitter, or you could post information that would be helpful to your customers.

  1. Use YouTube

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YouTube is a place where you can post information in video or commercial form. You might create something that offers tips to your customers, or you could create videos that read like commercials. You might do interviews with people who work in your industry, and you could have a video made that explains how to use an upcoming product. You want people to be intrigued by what your company does, and you could put a face to the name of your company.

  1. Make A Playlist

The playlist that you create for your company could be something that you build through a company like Pandora or Spotify. There are news stations using these companies to make playlists for morning traffic, and you will find radio shows making playlists for their listeners to use as inspiration. People who write or work in the entertainment industry will make their own playlist, and you could make a playlist that people will use while using your service. You might make a playlist for when your customers use the tools you sell, or you could make a workout playlist if your company is in the fitness industry.

  1. Publish Only Your Best Stuff

You must publish only your best content so that your readers grow accustomed to seeing something wonderful. You will confuse people if you release information that is hard to understand, and they might be turned off if you write in an inconsistent style. Only release something that you know will turn the heads of your customers, and remember that you could hire someone to do this for you. You probably do not have the time to do this all by yourself, but you can hire someone to help.

  1. Be Consistent

Your company must post often so that you have a chance to reach people every day. You never know who will run across your blog or website, and you must have something fresh for them to enjoy. You might continue adding items to a playlist, or you could make a new video every day. You must give the public a reason to patronize your business, and you must compel them to keep up with you because of the way that you write, talk, or think.

  1. Create A Voice

You must create a voice for your company that is shown through these many channels. You must give your company a personality, and the personality that people see if what they will remember when it is time for them to buy something. You might have a voice that is funny or snarky, and it might be the thing that your customers love about your company. You might show your customers that you are working hard at being serious, and you could have a voice that changes to solemn during tragedies. You can show the world that you care, and you might use that voice to ask for donations to charity.

  1. Honourable Mention: Hire A Marketer

You must hire a marketer who will help you make the choices that are best for your company, and they might direct much of this effort for you. They know how to help you when you need something written, and they can show you how to create content. Anyone who is using content marketing could pay a small fee to have a marketer do much of this work for them. You might take over some of these tasks once the marketer has shown you what to do.

Conclusion

You can change the course of your business with content marketing, and you must be certain that you have chosen all the right avenues for marketing. You can deploy content marketing tactics every day that make your business stronger, and you will find that you can easily bring in more customers because they are intrigued by what it is you have to say. Make a video, be funny on Twitter, and spread around as much content as you can with a blog that is directed at customers.

10 Marketing Tactics For Sustainable Business Advancements

Have you ever been interested in how to market for sustainable businesses? Well, today is a great day for you, as you will be provided with information on 10 marketing tips for sustainable businesses. The type of business that will be set as an example is going to be for acne treatment. The first tip will be the importance of marketing through a website and marketing online you can help save the environment. Next, we will focus on the importance of combining claiming and marketing sustainability tactics together.

After, we will discuss how important it is for you to have a message that pushes the moderate use of your product without destroying your bottom line on sales. Then, we will go over how to incorporate new marketing techniques that are not well known or used yet. Following up, you will be provided with tips on how to build a culture in your business that continues to enforce success and sustainability. The next tip will revolve around the importance of really marketing purchasing bundles instead of single items. The 7th tip for you will focus on how you should really learn your market and your customers to reach their needs.

The following tip will help you learn the importance of creating a specific marketing campaign that would work perfectly for you and your business. The next tip will focus on combining everything you do in your business with the sustainable issue you are choosing to build around. Finally, the last tip you will learn is how to properly value your products properly due to the higher costs of selling sustainable goods. Furthermore, after learning these amazing tips you will have gained more knowledge on how to build sustainable marketing strategies for your sustainable business.

  1. Marketing Online

It is very important for you to market online when trying to build a successful sustainable business. Moreover, marketing online will provide a way to reach millions of people and still keep your promise of being a sustainable business. You will not have to focus on marketing by mail or business card removing some of your carbon footprint from your business. There are plenty of ways to market online by offering free samples after a customer provides their e-mail address where you can send them future deals or promotions in the future.

  1. Claim and Market Sustainable

Now in this tip, you should really use both claim and marketing techniques for sustainability to really show the world your business is a sustainable company. Claim means that you will provide a sticker or message that shows how your product is environmentally friendly and how your customers can help the environment. As for marketing throughout all of your marketing efforts you should have a positive message that again pushes how your company is great for the environment.

  1. Push Moderate Product Use

It is important to push moderate product use, so your customers learn that you are all about keeping the environment safe and healthy. For example, using acne products you could build a dispenser that dispenses the perfect recommended application size for your customers. Furthermore, you might need to alter the size of your product to ensure that you continue to make a profit for your business.

  1. Incorporate New Marketing Strategies

There is no one way to market and strategies constantly change and evolve over time. It is always great to try a/b testing or new ai technology that can help you learn how to market better to your customers. It will only benefit you to learn and combine different marketing strategies that can help build a new way of marketing for your sustainable business.

  1. Build a Sustainable Culture

It is important to start your company with a sustainable culture and work environment, so this can roll over into your actual operation. Especially if you are starting off as a smaller company building a culture around sustainability is a must. Moreover building this culture can lead to new ideas from your workforce that can help provide even better ways to help your company grow its sustainability.

  1. Focus on Selling Bundles

Selling bundles is a great way to push that you are helping the environment by limiting the amount of shipping waste you end up producing shipping out your products. You can even make a reusable shipping box that is made completely of recyclable products if your company can afford it.

  1. Learn your Niche

In whatever sustainable market you decide to focus on it is important to ensure you understand the products you are selling. This is important so you can know what your customers look for when they are buying the type of product you are selling. For example, working with acne creams you would need to know how to push sustainability when working in the acne removal business. An example would be helping the environment by using fully recyclable bottles for the product.

  1. Create your Specific Marketing Strategy

Now that you know your niche you can learn how to market towards it properly. You can research the demographic that would be the most likely adopt your product and push for sustainability. This is a great tip that works perfectly in tandem with knowing your niche so you can know who to market to.

  1. Connect the Business with the Issue

It is important that throughout your website and on your products every customer knows your company is about sustainability or helping the environment. Explain how the product they are purchasing is helping them and the environment around them. The goal is to show your customers you are very serious about being a sustainable business. Continuing on, you could have an offer that also donates a percentage of each purchase to a non-profit organization or your own whose main focus is the same issue you are helping alleviate. Your customers base will feel proud they are helping the environment and issues around the world.

  1. Value your Products the Right Way

You must price your products at the right price to ensure your company can build a profit. Your company cannot run forever if it is not building a profit. In this case, if you are using fully sustainable products it is going to cost your customers more. You need to emphasize that your products cost more due to keeping the environment safe and your goal of being a completely 100% sustainable company in the near future. Said that you should also consider designing your product pages attractively and they should be user-friendly as good designs can help you increase the CTR which results in increasing the revenue. For example, Rodan and Fields have kept high product images with a white background making the website look neat in their acne treatment page.

Conclusion

You have just been presented with 10 tips to marketing a sustainable business. Again, the first step focused on how you should really focus on marketing online. Next, you learned about claiming and marketing sustainable. After, you were taught to push the moderate use of your products to show you are serious about sustainability. Then, you learned why you should try new marketing techniques to expand your brand. Building a sustainable culture was an important tip shared so you can really build a great sustainable business.

The importance of selling bundles was a great tip to help with sales an shrinking your environmental footprint by lowering the number of shipping supplies you have to use. Focusing on learning your niche and market will help you better understand your customers and market. Then, you learned how learning about your niche can help you understand how to properly market to your customers better. The next tip revolved around the importance of really combining your business with the sustainability issue you choose to focus on. Finally, the last tip you learned was to value your products properly so you can make a profit and still be a sustainable business. After sharing these tips you are one step closer to properly marketing your sustainable business the next step is to take action.

Building Your Brand With Content Creation

We all know how important our branding is. It’s more than just a fun novelty, it’s integral to your business’ success. Treat it as an add on or a box checking activity and you will deprive your business of its myriad benefits. A brand is far more than a catchy tagline, a pretty logo or a unified color scheme in your physical presence. Sure, branding incorporates all of those elements but it goes much deeper than any of that… or at least it should. Branding has its cosmetic considerations but it is also an encapsulation of everything your business is, everything it does and everything it stands for.

Branding makes a promise to your customers. It sets out your stall and demonstrates the values and ideals upon which your business was built. As such it is represented in every aspect of your business; operations from the way in which your employees interact with your customers to the layout of your website and the speed with which you pick up the phone. It’s in the quality of the raw materials you use in your manufacturing. It’s in the appearance of your physical premises on the outside as well as the inside. Would you want to hang your sign on damaged or rusty steel pipes? Heck no! That’s why you go to VarnerPipe.com. It’s in the ingenuity of the creative solutions that you come up with to solve your customers’ problems. Think about when you meet someone special wither in the world of work, friendship or romance. What qualities make them attractive? Sure, their physical appearance may play a part but there are plenty of beautiful people with whom we’d rather not associate. It’s their deeds, their actions, their sincerity, their beliefs or their ideals. All of these things represent that person’s character and your brand is just that… A character for your business.

Character development

So… how do we go about giving our business character? Do we give it a cute mascot? Sure, that could work. Do we build the business around ourselves, tailoring its image to fit our own? That can also work, but be aware that if you take this step, your personal fate will be inextricably tied to that of your business. If something happens to tarnish your business’ reputation, yours will inevitably be tarnished as well. A big part of lending character and personality to your business is giving your brand a voice. That’s where content marketing comes in. here we’ll look at how content creation can help to build your brand while also improving your visibility by creating an organic boost in your Search Engine Optimization.

Quality or quantity… You pretty much have to invest in both

In order to boost your SEO and improve your online visibility it’s essential that your business posts regular content. And by regular we mean daily. Does this require care, effort, dedication and attention? It sure does! However, far too many small businesses including bloggers looking to turn pro place too much emphasis on quantity over quality. As such they outsource to dirt cheap overseas content farms for generic filler content written by writers for whom English is an additional language. As such the content you post on your site may be poorly researched, inaccurate, misleading or just poorly written.

In order to get content marketing right and ensure that your brand has a consistent, authoritative voice your content needs to be entrusted to someone with an intimate working knowledge of your business and familiarity with the principles behind your brand. That means paying a member of your staff to create content in accordance with a clearly defined content strategy. You should also make the time to generate some content yourself every now and then. After all, your unique experience, knowledge and insight are your USP, and the one thing that no competitor can ever replicate. Not only will you add depth and dimension to the voice of your brand, you’ll also establish yourself as an expert in the field. If you do choose to outsource, at least entrust your content to a company that hires talented writers who will write accessible yet factually dense content specifically tailored to the voice of your brand.

Tell a story with your social media

We human beings are psychologically predisposed to love stories. We literally can’t get enough of them. We lap them up on TV, in books, in movies and even in video games. As such, your social media presence can really win over prospective customers or clients if you use it to tell a story. Instagram stories are a great example of this. By using short vignettes of video clips and / or images you can give those legions of leads out there an insight into your working processes, life on your shop floor or the testimonials of happy customers. Instagram stories in particular are great tools for small business because they are short, easy to digest and rely on economy of narrative to tell a story that resonates with the viewer.

Lights, camera… traction!

Video may have killed the radio star, but it can breathe a whole lot of new life into your business. In an era where more and more of us consume digital content through mobile devices in short bursts, video is the perfect medium for gaining traction with decision makers who may not have the time to sit and peruse a lengthy blog post.

While video creation  may require a little more in terms of time, effort and resources than writing a blog post, now’s the time to get in on the ground floor. It’s estimated that by 2021 video will account for 81% of all internet traffic. Already, there are 100 million hours of video consumed every day on Facebook alone. If you expect to retain the attention of your audience now and for the next decade, video is a medium that you’ll need to learn to embrace.

When you create great content on a regular basis, users will get a clearer idea of what (and even who) your business is. When they invest in that persona, they’ll come back to you time and again!

SmartPhone Evolution: Apps to Enhance Marketing Productivity

Marketing doesn’t always happen at your desktop. In fact, marketers are more mobile than ever before, and they need to stay productive while on the go.  Apps for superior marketing productivity can:

  • Make communicating simpler
  • Boost collaborative efforts.
  • Maximize your time.
  • Automate your workflow.

If you’re not taking advantage of apps that can help your marketing workflows, you may be wasting opportunities for growth.  Here are 6 mobile apps to enhance your marketing productivity.

1. Slack

Slack has become a marketer’s best friend in nearly every industry. Teamwork is at the bedrock of marketing, and this communication app makes teams far more efficient and productive.
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You can ping team members, check out archived chats, and make on-boarding of new team members or clients easy.

Other Slack features include . . .

  • Open communication channels for different projects and teams
  • You can go mobile, or use Slack on your desktop
  • Internal and external sharing, including files, docs, and other assets
  • A flexible browsing interface
  • Read-state synchronization

Slack also integrates easily with a number of software ecosystems, such as Google Drive, Zendesk, Dropbox, MailChimp, and major social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

2. Toggl

Marketers who freelance often need to have billable hours ready to go if a client asks. Toggl does just that, timing you how long it takes to complete a task, or a number of tasks of one client project.

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Toggl is also great for timing how long it takes for you to do a certain task to help you tweak your workflow to become even more productive. You can even send detailed tracking reports from the app to clients.

Other Toggl productivity solutions are . . .

  • Charts for easy user digestion, also great for clients
  • Day-by-day productivity breakdown for tasks
  • User-friendly single click time tracking feature
  • Usable online and offline

The Toggl app is also geared for companies. Marketing managers can use the app data to tweak workflow for optimal productivity. This could have a big impact on marketing agency profits.

3. UberConference

The UberConference app simplifies conference calls by taking glitchy video software out of the boardroom. There is no pin or software to download with this productivity app, and you won’t need to decipher who is talking. UberConference shows you the profiles of all conference call members, and when they are speaking.
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A few features marketers can use include . . .

  • HD audio for clearer conference calls
  • Screen share option
  • Admin login with call controls
  • Social media integration
  • Document sharing
  • Compatible with Slack for chat messaging

This mobile marketing app also allows you to connect to conference calls while on the go. Whether you need to hash out client contracts, or connect with the team on an urgent issue, UberConference is a productivity powerhouse.

4. Noisli

Not all productivity apps are about production. The Noisli app doesn’t have scheduling features or note taking capabilities. However, this productivity app is all about heightening your focus to get in the zone. By providing background noise conducive to your workflow, you will simply get more done.

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Marketers can find more focus using these Noisli features . . .

  • 16 different sounds (white noise, rain, wind, water, etc.)
  • Customizable by mixing sounds together
  • Adjustable volume for mixes
  • Built in timer and text editor
  • Colorful backgrounds for relaxation

“The service is mainly used as a concentration booster during work by coders, programmers, bloggers, writers, students, and translators,” Noisli founder, Stefano Merlo told CNET. “Noisli is also used by many teachers in the classroom as a base for creative writing classes or for exercises/games in elementary school.”

5. SocialPilot

This next productivity app is geared for social media marketers looking to automate their workflow. The SocialPilot app is a newer alternative to Hootsuite and Buffer with more advanced options for mobile marketers. It allows you to organize nearly every aspect of your social media scheduling.

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Marketers can leverage SocialPilot for . . .

  • Full automation of scheduling social media posts.
  • Tracking all social accounts in the dashboard calendar.
  • Enhanced visibility via customized Facebook branding.
  • Bulk scheduling with a CSV or TXT file.
  • Team sharing with contributor and moderator settings.
  • Client management features for agencies.

This new productivity app for marketers can make social media management far more efficient. In fact, more than 75,000 agencies and marketing professionals trust SocialPilot to do just that.

6. Cloze

Have you ever wanted a personal assistant? Well, how about a virtual AI powered personal assistant you don’t need to pay? The Cloze app can make that happen. It is essentially a CRM that doesn’t require you to enter any data. The app automatically pulls your contact’s information, social media activity, and personal history, delivering one easily digestible place.

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 The productivity wins for marketers include . . .

  • Compiles all your contacts in one place.
  • Updates contact information based on email signature changes.
  • Links scheduled items to the people mentioned.
  • Reminds you to reach out to people at appropriate times.
  • Organizes contacts by last touch point, location, initial meeting, etc.

“With the relaunch of Cloze, the app is moving away from being an email client of sorts, and instead is meant to function more as a tool that lets you track your contacts and your interactions in a variety of ways,” TechCrunch explained.

Ready to be the Most Productive Marketer on the Planet?

Well, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement. However, a more productive marketer is a more successful one, making you one of the savviest in your industry. From team collaboration to the soothing sounds of deep concentration, there is an app for that.

The right tools can make a big difference for any professional, and the Smartphone evolution has ushered in a variety of mobile apps that have made the mobile workforce fierce. What productivity apps are taking your marketing game to the next level?

The Evolution of Content Marketing: What We Can Learn From the Past?

Content marketing is one of the most popular long-term marketing strategies that, if done right, can significantly increase brand awareness and brand loyalty. It’s a highly effective tactic. It costs 62% less than traditional marketing, while at the same time creating 3 times more leads. Content marketing comes down to offering people relevant info related to your industry on a regular basis. You do promote your brand through content, but the emphasis is not on advertising, but instead on providing value for those who consume the content. The ultimate goal then is to slowly and spontaneously turn your audience into your customers.

This strategy has been around for a long time, although it’s gained real significance on a global scale just a decade or two ago. Let’s have a brief look at the history of content marketing and then we’ll try to point out to a few valuable lessons it can teach us.

Pre-internet era

It’s possible to trace the roots of content marketing to as early as 19th century. It was far from being as widespread as today, but a few standalone examples have showed the way to the marketers of the future and basically relied on the same principles as content marketing nowadays.

In 1895, Deere & Company started publishing The Furrow Magazine, which provided farmers with valuable pieces of advice and information on topics related to agriculture. And by 1912, it had more than 4 million readers. This was a great marketing move for a company that produces agricultural tools, machinery and equipment, and has done wonders for the image of the brand.

Other early examples of this kind include Michelin’s Guide from 1900, Jell-O’s booklets of recipes from 1904, as well as Procter & Gamble’s radio drama soap campaign from 1930s. All these were a huge success, but these content marketing attempts were still just isolated examples rather than a trend. This has all changed with the emergence of the internet.

Online opportunities: 1990s-2010

The trouble with content marketing was the lack of channels for such a long-term marketing effort. Anything more than a few inches of a printed page or a 30-second TV ad was simply too expensive for most companies. And for content marketing to be done right, you need your own channel where you can regularly publish new content that normally has to be long enough in order to be really relevant and informative.

With the emergence of internet, the circumstances have changed radically. People started using the power of blogs and social media – channels that are basically free and that you can use to publish an unlimited amount of content. This event is often referred to as “democratization” of content marketing. It has opened the door for the real expansion of this marketing strategy in the last decade.

The golden age: 2010 – ?

The explosion of online channels and opportunities has resulted in the explosion of content marketing as well, since 88% of B2B companies reportedly used it in their marketing efforts in 2015. Today, more than 2 million blog posts are published every day and this has resulted in a lot of noise and poor-quality content.

Thus, in order to stand out, it has become extremely important to deliver first-rate content, and both brands and top content marketing companies have recognized this. Moreover, Google’s algorithm updates guarantee low rankings for low-quality and short-form content, which has put additional emphasis on creating top-class, long-form articles that provide real value.

Another novelty that 2010s have brought is the way content is promoted. Companies have realized how useful influencer marketing and paid ads are. Furthermore, the amount of content produced every day is such that you have to invest in promotion in order to be noticed, no matter how good your content is. This has been reflected in the fact that companies today spend a lot more money on promoting the content than on creating it.

Lessons to be learned

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Source: burst.shopifycdn.com

When we look at the history of content marketing, one constant becomes obvious immediately. The most important condition for this type of marketing to be successful is simply providing purposeful and interesting content that answers your audience’s questions. This is becoming more essential as the amount of available content grows.

Another constant is the necessity of careful targeting and narrowing your niche. You can’t and shouldn’t let the topics become too dispersed or completely irrelevant for your products and your industry. Stick to what you do and know best and tell stories that will not only benefit your audience right away, but that will also do good things for your business on the long run.

Furthermore, you ought to take advantage of the fact that content marketing has been “democratized”. It has apparently always been effective, but it was too expensive to be done properly. Today, you have all the necessary tools at your disposal basically for free and a multitude of channels ready to be utilized. And with careful targeting and distribution of the content, the resources you’ll have to invest in promotion can also be minimized.

At the end of the day, the ultimate message is to not be afraid to employ new strategies and put innovative ideas to work. Stay in touch with the latest trends and take chances. Some particular rules and practices applied in content marketing are going to change constantly and you have to be familiar with them and put them to use. Currently, these trends include the use of videos, strong links with journalism, as well as employing latest technological tools to analyze your content and feedback. So do your homework, see what works for you and include it in your strategy starting from today.

Guest author Meaghan is a web designer who is also quite passionate about digital marketing. These days she is all about researching various IT related topics and collaborating with other bloggers. When she is not working she enjoys dancing classical ballet.