“Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
When the great Seth Godin said these words, it is doubtful that even he would have thought that this would become the biggest mantra in marketing. However it has.
In the last decade, digital marketing has disrupted traditional marketing strategies like TV, radio, PRA and print media as thanks to technological boom, customers went from physical to digital. Even when digital customers migrated from PC/laptop to mobile in most of the cases.
Even in the digital space, Content Marketing has left other channels like Search Engine Marketing far behind. It used to be the king but has become a virtual emperor now.
HiveFire, a Cambridge-based internet marketing company, surveyed ~400 marketing professionals about B2B market, and discovered that marketers are shifting away from traditional marketing and even search marketing towards content marketing. According to HiveFire’s survey, twice as many B2B marketers now employ content marketing as they do print, TV and radio advertising.
For the uninitiated, as per Wikipedia, Content Marketing “involves the creation and sharing of online material (such as videos, blogs, and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand but is intended to stimulate interest in its products or services.”
TRUST-THE SECRET SAUCE: The question is why is Content Marketing dominating every other type, even its paid digital rivals? Answer in one word is “TRUST”. It sounds deceptively simple but is very complicated. The new age customers don’t trust traditional advertising as they know that all companies would say nothing but positive things about their products as a one time push. However, regularly creating content and sharing it with larger audience takes time build accountability and trust. This commands a loyalty that simply cannot be purchased.
Establishing Expertise: Any idiot with money can buy paid marketing and most do. However, Content Marketing has to be earned, through deep knowledge, expertise, and regular engagement. A new finance guru can have a $50K budget trying to promote his book to the world with little success. However, if Dave Ramsey writes something, it is sure to sell like hot cakes because the man has established himself as an authority in the field by providing free quality content through his blog, radio shows and YouTube channels.
Building A Loyal Tribe: The kings of the old times and business of the new era are learned this hard way, you can’t buy loyalty. It has to be built with constant engagement, value and lots of love. We can safely bet that there is someone whose tribe you belong to, be it Oprah, Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris or even Seth Godin. You lap up every word that they say, you read everything they write and you buy everything they sell or even recommend. How did they earn this loyalty, simple, by providing quality helpful content on a regular basis. The Tribe is the power of the content marketer which cannot be purchased.
Content is forever: TV ads last for 1-3 minutes. Search engine marketing campaigns end after a stipulated timeline or budget limitation. However, just like diamonds, content is forever. Nothing dies in the digital age. No video, no article, no photograph ever dies. One blog post written by you two years ago can get you a lead today. Same goes for videos, info-graphics and all. So return on investment for great content is virtually infinite.
No wonder content is, was, and remains the king.
Long live content marketing.
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