Content marketing is now. Sixty percent of marketers plan to increase spending in this category THIS year. More and more individuals, organizations, and causes are responding to a shift in how consumers, donors, and people in general want to engage with the world.
Traditional marketing was about interruption. The assumption was if I was in more places and spent more money than my competition, then you’d have to pay attention to me. Today, the individual has the ability to ignore whomever they choose. That means I must earn your trust and get your permission before you will hear what I have to say.
In simplier terms, content marketing is the heartbeat of the inbound marketing revolution. The individual wants to find the organization rather than the organization finding them.
The result is that businesses and organizations are now expected to be publishers ahereing to things like content strategy, editorial calendars, production schedules, and back-end analytics. The opportunity to grow through this channel can be shadowed by the strength and energy needed to execute content marketing well. In fact, it can be so intimidating that some organizations and businesses give up before they even begin.
- You don’t understand it. If you don’t understand inbound marketing, then you’re likely not going to support any content marketing efforts. Those who still believe and practice interruption marketing laugh at content marketing as a waste of time and money. The joke is on you, though. Google means I’m likely to find more about you than you may or may not want me to know—BEFORE you make that telemarketing cold call.
- You don’t understand publishing. Businesses must become publishers. That is, unless your business is publishing. You likely don’t understand concept development, cover design strategy, hiring and managing freelance writers, copy editing, proofreading, etc. It is also likely you will want to write about your company when the best content comes from the questions your target audience is already asking. Nobody wants a company stump speech—even if it’s well crafted and designed.
- You don’t have a process to sustain it. Content marketing isn’t a “one-and-done” effort. It is an investment of time, energy, and ideas over a long period of time. If you don’t have a process to manage and sustain your content marketing plan, you will never see the fruit of your labor. It’s not just about one piece. Rather, those who benefit the most from content marketing see it as a long-term investment in their current customers and prospects.
Content marketing will continue to grow. The longer you wait means the more time you’re giving your competitors to make their intial investment and start seeing it pay off in revenue growth. It is a by-product of a shift in consumer habits and the explosion of smart technology that connects my needs with your services before you’ll likely know who I am.
How is content marketing part of your organization’s growth strategy?
Ben Stroup is a content activist in a post-paragraph world. He is chief broker of opportunity at Ben Stroup Enterprises. Connect with Ben via email, Twitter, and Google+. Subscribe via email to learn how to use content to move people to action.