In 2015, content marketing is expected to be the most important digital marketing trend. Why? Because it is a great way to attract and engage customers, and to provide them with the information and education they need during their buying process.
Content marketing is not about making a sales pitch, rather it is about educating, informing, and helping customers. Content marketing is about showing both potential and current customers that your business is credible, knowledgeable, and an industry leader.
Content is inclusive of: blogs, white papers, e-books, newsletters, infographics, podcasts, webinars, and video. Creating and distributing valuable and relevant content in a strategic and consistent manner is what will drive profitable customer action.
Tracking metrics and measuring return on investment (ROI) is critical to an effective content marketing strategy; however, this is where many organizations fall flat. To execute an effective content marketing strategy you need to take a comprehensive data driven approach to marketing. Metrics enable you to measure success, drive strategy, and demonstrate the ROI of your marketing efforts.
How effective is content marketing?
Cerasis, a North American third-party logistics company offering logistics solutions with a strong focus on LTL freight management, points to the value content marketing can bring to an organization.
In 2012, Cerasis decided to move from a traditional approach to marketing to one focused on digital and content marketing. Within 25 months:
- Visits to the Cerasis website increased by 1,141 percent
- Visits to the company blog increased from zero to 46,404
- Traffic driven by social media increased by 376,150 percent
- Organic traffic increased by 4,066 percent
The increased traffic to the website and blog resulted in a significant increase in leads, customers, and revenue. The results:
- 715 leads
- 14 percent of these leads converted to customers
- 14 percent increase in revenue generated by these new customers
Motivated? Before you move forward with content marketing, be sure you have a strategy in place - a study of B2B marketers found that companies who have a documented content strategy in place are more likely to consider their efforts to be effective than companies who do not have a documented strategy in place (60 percent vs. 11 percent).
Kate Lee is Director of Research and Strategy for Fronetics Strategic Advisors