One of the biggest trends in online marketing right now is content marketing. Leveraging all sorts of content, from video to blog posts, is becoming so huge because traditional methods of capturing those same customers is slowly becoming obsolete. But, content marketing is helping with that shift from traditional to digital, and many brands are hopping on the bandwagon of content to help boost their brands.
Large companies like Coca-Cola, Starbucks, and even General Electric all have spent significant money in order to create killer content marketing strategies. However, content isn't just for the huge companies--it's for any business.
As with any new trend or practice, there will be early-adopters and then the rest of the industry that remain skeptical. However, 60% of B2B marketers said they were allotting marketing budgets to more content marketing, according to a recent study by eConsultancy. And, even big companies are even trying it. So, what are the negative people saying, exactly? And, more importantly: how can their doubts be debunked?
1. No analytics for content marketing
Social media has come a long way since MySpace. Now, businesses are able to track Likes, tweets, statuses, videos, and even see which demographics they are engaging with the most and leverage all of this data from their social media profiles through analytics. Lots of anti-content people like to say the same can't be said of content marketing, although there are ways through WordPress, Kapost, Google Analytics, and other means to analyze content.
2. Too vague of a focus
With other forms of marketing, they all have a direct purpose. Email, Facebook pages, PPC, it all has a clear agenda. However, lots of people assume content marketing is vague and really has no direction. "It just means all content," some would argue. While true, it does deal with all sorts of content and distribution, it still has a very clear focus.
In this infographic on Marketo's blog, they show that content marketing focuses on four things: lead nurturing, traffic driving, customer relationship management, campaign nurturing. All of which are quite important in online marketing.
3. Not enough in the budget
Most professionals like to assume that since big brands are using content marketing that it's probably an expensive strategy and out of their budget. However, content marketing doesn't have to be expensive--in fact, a lot of it can be relatively inexpensive or even free.
While most companies outsource their content marketing, there is always the option of hiring in-house and utilizing free services like YouTube, WordPress, Blogger, SlideShare, and other websites.
4. No purpose for content marketing
Another excuse that has been passed around is the idea that certain industries can't (and won't) benefit from content marketing. Normally, these are the same businesses that said their industry has no purpose in social media, and now we see plumbing services or paving companies with Facebook Pages and Twitter accounts. Those same businesses can also find success in content marketing, too.
General Electric is actually a very good example. They are a huge conglomerate mostly known for their household appliances, like washers and dryers. Not many would suspect that GE has a very strong Pinterest following, or a regularly updated blog that ties in with their company. Forbes even highlights their content efforts, along with Sears and General Mills.
5. Traditional advertising is safe
There is a huge shift going on in advertising right now. Most traditional advertisers are feeling the burn from a changing landscape and consumers moving to a digital lifestyle. Print, television, radio--all of it has been around for many years and now things are rapidly changing away from their favor. Change like that can be scary, but, is rather inevitable in order to fit the needs of the customer.
Traditional advertising has proven success, proven data, and dyed-in-the-wool tactics. Digital advertising is slowly eclipsing the revenue of traditional, but some businesses still aren't convinced. Much like the nature of business, however, people need to be able to adapt and survive. And online advertising, especially content marketing, is here to stay.