Who Died and Made Content King?

I am not a fan of buzz words. And the world of marketing is rife with them. Marketers tend to speak like they were smacked in the head with a business briefcase. We make up terms like “engagement metrics.” We never miss an opportunity to leverage something. And don’t get me started on the word “content.”

The word “content” has permeated our speech to the point that statistically, it is spoken 5 times for every 1 minute a marketer is speaking. I think I read that in Forbes or something. Content and specifically content marketing has had buzz around it for quite sometime.
 

1. Why did content marketing become a thing?

2. Is content marketing worth all the hype?

3. Is content marketing here to stay?

 
Make no mistake; it is a thing. 91% of B2B companies are trying it out. IBM, Cisco, DemandBase, and even Lana Del Rey, are using content marketing. (Yes, I know Lana Del Rey isn’t B2B, but it sounded nice.)

But back to our questions . . .

1. Why did content marketing become a thing?

 
In 1988 the New York times reported the average American consumer saw 5,000 marketing messages a day. You may have heard this number tossed around a few times. That would be an ad every 17 seconds! Other “experts” estimate the number of ads somewhere between 300 – 3,000. Either way that is a heck of a lot of ads!

And ads by nature are an interruption of the content you are there for (unless you are one of those people that watches the Super Bowl for the commercials). You flip through a magazine and bam! There is an ad that takes you away from the content. You’re watching TV, and just as they are about to hand out the final rose, wham! A commercial break.

And now you have both the impetus and strategy for content marketing.

“I need to stand out among thousands of advertisements.”

And . . . “what if my marketing were the content that people want to consume rather than aninterruption?”

Voila! Content marketing is born.

If your marketing were the content that people want to consume, how much better would your advertising perform? That is the key to content marketing. Make content valuable to your audience, not an interruption.

Why has content marketing become a thing?

Technology has made the advertising space very crowded. Strong, valuable content helps your marketing stand out from the crowd.

2. Is content marketing worth all the hype?

 
In 2010 Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead was produced. The documentary tells the tale of an overweight man with an autoimmune disease transforming his life by eating only raw fruits and vegetables for 60 days. He consumed all the produce by using a juicer. A Breville juicer. The movie ended up becoming pretty popular.

What do you think happened to Breville’s sales on juicers? They doubled! (Source)

In 2014 Lego made a movie personifying Legos. What happened to Lego sales? They were up 11% in first 6 months after the movie. (Source)

Content marketing, done correctly, creates the urge to act. B2B companies with blogs will generate 67% per leads. (Source) Why? Because content can cause people to act and feel as though they need to change something.

This is why content marketing has so much hype around it. Even though you aren’t bragging about your product or telling people how innovative you are, customers get out their wallets and spend when you produce great content.

Is content marketing worth all the hype?

Good content marketing creates the need to act. This is the source of all the hype. When you do it right, the revenue flows in.

3. Is content marketing here to stay? All signs point to yes.

 

Here’s the thing. Audiences across the world are becoming more niche and segmented. We are in complete control of the content we consume. We fast-forward through commercials and watch entire seasons of shows on our mobile phones.

This means attention spans are shorter, and you don’t get to control the content your audience looks at or is interested in. You have to provide value, education, entertainment, and empowerment, and it has to be specific to the audience you want to reach.

Unless a massive apocalypse occurs and all of our technology is lost, it seems your audience will become more segmented and less affected by the “Look at me! We are the best!” style of advertising.

Is content marketing here to stay?

New technologies and platforms are making content marketing increasingly necessary. It is here for the foreseeable future.

 

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