Marketing – “a term used to describe the means of communication between the company and consumer audience”.
A hit brand/product is synonymous with a good marketing strategy. A good marketing strategy is essential to arouse need, desire and necessity to own a product in the target audience. Good marketing is a cornerstone for the success of every organisation in the competitive business world today.
There are a plethora of marketing modes and strategies suggested and used by organisations worldwide depending on the kind of products and target audience. However, digital marketing is one mode that stands out exclusive to the rest of marketing mediums.
With the unprecedented growth of smartphone users in the last 5 years and better internet connectivity, the importance of digital media has become more significant than ever before. Digital marketing is the easiest way to reach out to a large section of audiences without significant effort.
Tabulated below are few of the popular types of digital marketing–
Making constant headlines in the digital marketing space in the concept of Content Marketing, 60% of the businesses now joining the content bandwagon are using some kind of content marketing, thus making it one of the most sought after strategies in the digital marketing arena today.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is kind of a planned approach which focuses on the creation and distribution of relevant, valuable and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience – and to drive profitable customer action.
Complicated? Let’s simplify this.
How many of you have heard or seen people take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Or should I ask how many of you have taken the Ice Bucket Challenge? I am sure each one of you has heard, seen or taken the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and I am confident that most of you know the reason behind it. The ALS website says that a total of 17 million people uploaded their challenge on Facebook and the same was watched by 440 million people a total of 10 billion times in the last year! Staggering, right? Just a small example of the wonders that content marketing creates!
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge never asked for donations directly for funding research and cure of ALS disease but received millions of dollars for the same from people all over the world. Effective content marketing targets piquing customer curiosity by creating awareness about the product instead of marketing it.
Look at the tweet by the restaurant search and discovery service provider Zomato. Nowhere in the tweet have they mentioned what they do or what are they trying to sell. The tweet is asking NASA’s space probe New Horizons, which recently flew by Pluto, to inform Zomato about any restaurant sighting on Pluto so that they can include Pluto in their expansion plans. Very subtle, informative and intelligent, this tweet would not only impress the existing Zomato users but also compel those who don’t know about it, to find out more.
Why is Content Marketing Required?
Maybe more crucial than understanding content marketing is showcasing why content advertising is vital. We must first comprehend the four stages of a client’s purchasing cycle:
- Awareness: The customer may be aware that they have the necessity to buy a product, but may not be aware that there is a solution to procuring what they need.
- Research: Once a customer knows there is an answer, they will research the product that they want. For instance, a car purchaser will attempt to discover what distinctive sorts of car types are available, and which one will fit their needs best.
- Consideration: Now the customer will start to compare costs between different vendors, and start finding out if buying it online or physically would make more financial sense.
- Buy: The customer will then settle on their choice and advance with the purchase.
Conventional advertising methodologies and marketing is ideal for the last two stages. However, content marketing takes advantage of the initial two phases of the process, as it brings about awareness to the consumers, and steer them in the direction of buying something they would never have considered in the first place.
The ROI for content marketing can grow in leaps and bounds if the plans are executed properly with minimum expense. Good content ensures that a lot of people talk about it, see it and share it. This, in turn makes the product an automatic favourite of the Search Engines.
Google Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithms have made good content even more essential in advertising. Although this might sound like Google’s tie up with WWF to save wildlife, Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird are algorithms that filter sites that publish low-quality content, devalue sites that have built unnatural links to gain an advantage by inflating their position on Google search engine. They aim to select and showcase only sites that deliver answers to actual user questions.
In short, when you research about a product or idea on the internet, Google will ensure the best possible results with the most favourable content for your search displayed. Hence, the need of having quality content has shot up. Users may have confusion whether the content marketing works or not, then, check Does Content Marketing actually work?
What is the co-relation between Content Marketing and Digital Marketing?
Content Marketing is a subset and an integral part of digital marketing wherein digital space is used to publish content and market products/ideas. Following are some of the popular content marketing modes that thrive in the digital space:
- Infographics: Infographics are vertically designed long graphics that include charts, statistics, graphs and other information.
- Webpages: Pages containing blogs, informative tweets, puzzles, interesting facts, entertaining videos etc. always garner the attention of masses and, in turn, influence their purchasing habits. Likes, shares and comments help organizations assess their popularity and influence amongst the customers. 62% B2C marketers analyse website traffic to assess the success rate of content marketing.
- Podcasts: Being on podcasts gives you visibility in a completely different world – primarily iTunes. Michael Hyatt, author of the best-selling book “Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World” says that his free self-help lessons on podcasts not only gave him instant fame but also increased the sale of his book. The best feature of podcasts is that they can be downloaded and viewed offline as a result of which people have started preferring podcasts over traditional channels for information and entertainment.
- Videos: YouTube has been a revelation for all those who could not afford to air their ideas and content on mainstream mediums like T.V. and now even the biggest of brands have jumped into the YouTube bandwagon to leverage on the high popularity of the online video channel.
- Other social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram. In the social media world, good content spreads faster than wildfire.
GoPro Camera and Red Bull are one of the best and most popular examples of imbibing content marketing as a core strategy. They release videos of various adventure events conducted by them in the digital space on a regular basis(the primary focus is to engage the audience for a long term relationship instead of focusing on selling the product).
Also read: Why is content king?
Of late, organisations have started taking content marketing very seriously and this is clear from the fact that 49% of companies have an executive in their organisation who is directly responsible for an overall content strategy and a good 38% of marketers publish content weekly or more often on various platforms.
Importance of Content Marketing
A benchmarking report published by Content Marketing Institute for content marketing outlook amongst North American companies throws some light on increasing importance of content marketing:
- 51% of the organizations have committed to increasing their spend on content marketing as part of their digital marketing strategy.
- Content Marketing forms 28% of the total marketing spent on an average, with marketers allotting as high as 42% of their budgets for their content marketing plans.
- 32% of the organisations reported having a documented content marketing strategy.
- 44% of the organisations interviewed report that they meet once on a daily/weekly basis to discuss content marketing strategy.
These and many more such statistics to prove the increasing importance and impact of content marketing in the digital advertising space.
Content Marketing has been expanding its foot space in the digital marketing arena due to its success in reaching out to the consumers more effectively, and its impromptu nature has made it even more effective and every marketer’s choice.
Content marketing is definitely going to be an important part of every CMO’s marketing strategy in the coming future (if it isn’t already). The window of opportunity that content marketing has thrown open is unparalleled and highly untapped. Although there is a long way ahead for organisations in terms of having a desirable content marketing model, the success of mature content marketing in the recent past has made it an important piece and integral part of the digital marketing gamut that is impossible to ignore.
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