There’s a lot of jargon in marketing, added to which, tactics that have been around for ages are now called different things. To be fair, this is largely because the web and digital technology has changed the way we reach our customers. But we thought it would be useful to have a series that breaks down some of these terms and activities. We’re calling it the ‘Simply’ series. First up is Content Marketing; what is it and why do we use it?

What is content marketing?

Content marketing has been around for a long time. New wording, old practices. As far back as 300 years ago businesses have been creating customers by producing useful, free content.

Take Trendhacker’s example of the Jell-O brand in America. Initially customers didn’t have a clue what to do with the product, so the company launched a free recipe book with Jell-O as the main ingredient. Things took off and by 1906, Jell-O reported sales of over a million dollars.

The difference now is that we have so many more channels to help us get our content out there and it is more immediate.

Jell O Recipe Book Content Marketing Examples 1200x675a
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It’s a long-term strategy

Relationships are built over time. As you respond to your user needs by providing useful content, they will start to look to you as a source they can trust. As you supply more of what they need without the need to search, when it comes to purchase yours will be the name that comes to mind.

‘Buyers look at 3-5 pieces of content before they decide to purchase’–

Content has to be relevant and valuable

The other thing that takes time is developing content. It is about building your story as much as it is about building a relationship and the story needs to be well crafted. Those that have the most interesting stories will get the most retention and the best associative values for their brand.

Can you sustain your content output?

Products that need specialist knowledge and an ability to talk peer to peer need more research and longer writing time. One of the biggest stumbling blocks marketers have with content marketing is being able to produce the volume of content required.

Top Challenges for B2B Content Marketers
  • Producing engaging content – 60%
  • Producing Content consistently – 57%
Forms of content

I’m sure we don’t have them all listed here but this gives you a good idea:

Types of marketing content
Content marketing vs useless clutter

Content marketing has become very competitive and there are companies who send out content just to fulfil a frequency quota. It is usually unplanned and not relevant to you. And could just be a badly planned ‘fishing’ exercise.

But what if you’re a plumber, receiving a free invitation to a new product launch that will improve your business productivity? The likelihood of you responding is far stronger. The content has been directed and targeted to fulfil a particular need.

Content marketing is strategic

Just like other forms of marketing, content is created and distributed in a planned way to achieve certain objectives. Typically, content is mapped out around specific customer pain points and their customer journey. It’s then about deciding what type of content could address those problems.

Content marketing works!

Done right and given the relative low-cost communication channels (compared to traditional, paid for marketing), content marketing can be very profitable.

  • Companies with blogs tend to get 67% more leads than those who don’t have a blog
  • Inbound marketing close rates are still 8 to 10 times higher compared to those of outbound
  • When it comes to retention, companies who are deploying content are seeing 5%-10% better retention, especially when they deploy content that is more customer success focused. –
  • 83% of marketers surveyed for a report by the Content Marketing Institute said publishing content that provides value to their customers contributed significantly to the success of their content marketing efforts.

Still puzzled? Give us a shout and we’ll clear up any other questions you have. Call Richard or Karen on 01283 533196