Social Buzz: The continued evolution of content marketing
Content Marketing Statistics: Blogging 60% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2016) 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding, meaning organic search increases their traffic over time. (HubSpot, 2016) Compounding blog posts make up 10% of all blog posts and generate 38% of overall traffic. (HubSpot, 2016) Over its lifetime, one compounding blog post creates as much traffic as six decaying posts. (HubSpot, 2016) Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published 0-4 monthly posts. (HubSpot, 2015) B2B companies that blogged 11+ times per month had almost 3X more traffic than those blogging 0-1 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015) B2C companies that blogged 11+ times per month got more than 4X as many leads than those that blog only 4-5 times per month. (HubSpot, 2015) (Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)
Content marketing works to drive results by boosting brand awareness, building an identity as a trusted expert, encouraging customers to take action, providing sharable content to further reach and keeping a brand’s website fresh.
At its core, content marketing is a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online material with the intention to stimulate interest in a brand’s products or services.
The amount of noise that businesses are competing against has increased dramatically over the past several years. Consumers have the option to cut through some of that clutter by customizing what is in their social media feeds and fast forwarding through commercials on television.
However, content marketing still proves effective and, like many other things, will continue to evolve with the digital movement.
Moving into 2017, the evolution of content marketing will likely require extra work to keep a brand in front of their target audience.
Brands will be getting much more creative with format. Content marketing has long focused on blogging, written content and a drive to generate email subscribers. Visual content will become more important as search engines and social media continue to reward this type of content. This may also mean that content will be more unique, short and pack a punch to grab audience attention.
As saturation continues to run high, messages will become more niche. Scratching the surface of over-discussed topics won’t push a brand to the top. By focusing on a niche audience, messages will reach an audience that is more likely to engage with the content rather than be buried in the noise of other content.
Video’s reign will continue to bring the highest return on investment. Estimates like 74 percent of all Internet traffic in 2017 being video from Syndacast confirm this trend. Just last week, Marketing Dive highlighted a study that found native video outperforms YouTube content on Facebook. The optimizing of feeds to improve the viewing experience will continue. Having more videos also improves brand search engine optimization. Think about the last thing you Googled and the placement of video at the top of those results.
Brands are continuing to spend more on content marketing than advertising. This is a shift that will likely continue in 2017. It will really put the pressure on for consistent engagement to keep a brand at the front of a consumer’s mind. Acquisition and retention to drive growth with existing audiences will likely be the sought after position as brands work to optimize content marketing.
This means taking the next step, instead of just reaching a brand’s audience, the goal will be to elevate that reach by encouraging engagement, information collection and a reason to come back.
Content marketing is known for constantly creating and distributing information that is valuable and relevant to a target audience and it will continue to be alive and well. However, results will be more work, challenging and require a plan for success.
Brook Bentley is the Digital Content Manager for the Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.