Content marketing is an exciting field, yet it’s one that few people tend to understand. In fact, those who could benefit the most from rich and original content creation and promotion often shy away from it due to time constraints or they simply didn’t work it into the budget.
A recent examination of content marketing trends, however, demonstrates that the practice is more than just marketers and writers vying for a line item in the corporate budget. Instead, it’s a proven tool to push out quality information that customers want to read. And, it positions the company as the expert in the industry – something that’s critical in a world of over saturation of promotional materials.
Which brings up the next point – the content created shouldn’t be overly promotional. In fact, promotions should only be included when absolutely necessary and relevant. If the content created is nothing more than a commercial for the company, readers will tire of the information rather quickly.
Creating enough quality content, however, is often a key challenge. A recent Social Media Examiner article highlighted this challenge as a top trend in business to business content marketing. This obstacle is enhanced when trying to avoid heavily promotional content. After all, spouting the attributes of the company is easy; focusing on the industry without promotion is not.
To that end, it’s critical to determine exactly what is to be accomplished with a content marketing strategy. For most, the goal is to increase brand awareness, not website traffic. This finding is interesting as the assumption would be that companies produce more content to receive more traffic. But, unless that traffic is relevant, it’s meaningless. Brand awareness has the potential to create leads and opportunities, working toward higher revenue goals.
When developing the content marketing strategy, companies must decide whether they will create their content in-house or outsource it. According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 56 percent of companies are keeping the creation of their content in-house. Only 1 percent are relying on outsourced content completely and 43 percent have a nice balance of both in-house and outsourced content.
That balance is critical for the development and execution of an effective content marketing strategy. When the company has a hand in the creation of the content, the core message stays true to the brand. When outsourced talent is engaged to supplement the volume of content, a well-rounded base of quality information is created.
Regardless of the approach taken to create quality content, the important point is to create the content. For companies wanting to dominate their respective industries, a failure to get in the game could mean the ultimate loss.