Content and its promotion have come a long way in the past decade.
Back in 2009, content marketing was still just content production and focused on improving the writing you have on site. Off-site marketing practices were still in their infancy, and a mere five years ago, some were labeling it unsustainable.
Today, as 74% of B2B buyers do extensive research before making a purchasing decision, we can state with a high level of assurance that content marketing is not only here to stay, but it is also one of the most rounded yet customizable digital marketing tactics you could choose to employ.
Think of it this way: Content marketing can help you acquire leads, boost brand awareness, improve media relations, and shorten buyer cycles—most importantly, it can be a lot of fun.
Take the example of the CB Insights newsletter, which is funny, informative, and provides real value without you even having to click on a link.
Or think of the Share a Coke campaign, which allowed consumers to personalize their bottles.
And then there is Hootsuite’s Game of Thrones-inspired video, which is probably my favorite blend of mainstream and creative to date in a campaign.
Clearly, content marketing works.
However, the one thing marketers tend to overlook is that a successful campaign relies on numbers, facts, previous experiences, and a lot of research. Even the most fun to experience campaigns have not been pulled out of thin air. The creativity behind these campaigns might be spontaneous but make no mistake—there was a lot of mundane analysis involved as well.
Here are five content marketing statistics you can use to fuel your 2019 campaigns for surefire success.
1. You need content marketing now
This might seem basic, but it’s worth noting that now more than ever you need content marketing in your overall strategy. 70% of B2B content marketers say that their efforts were more successful in 2018 than in previous years.
If you are not investing in this marketing channel yet, chances are your competition is, and you will be left eating their dust.
And even though it can be intimidating if you have never done it before, setting a content marketing budget is the first hurdle you need to tackle. Here are some average numbers you will find useful:
- Topical videos cost $631
- White papers cost $959
- Motion graphics cost $156
- Photography costs $349
- Articles cost $249
- Listicles cost $214
- Infographics cost $185
On average, B2B businesses allocate 25% of their marketing budgets to content marketing. If this sounds like a staggering amount, you can go about it another way.
Try allocating a set budget for your first stab at content marketing, and pour all of the ROI it yields into future efforts. Establishing a self-sufficient content marketing machine over the first couple of years will allow this channel to stand on its own feet.
2. Start filming
Cisco estimates that 80% of all worldwide traffic by the end of 2019 will be video.
Luckily, almost any marketing campaign lends itself well to video production. Whether you are doing product demos, Q&As, filming production, or even recording a meeting, you will surely find something that can be recorded on camera that would be of interest to your target audience.
In fact, the first step you need to take before pressing record is figuring out what your audience would like to see: Is it the product in action? A “how it’s made” style video? A discussion panel? Once you know what type of video content would work well with your audience, you can start filming.
Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube are great vehicles for promoting your videos, and the first two don’t even require you to spend money on pro filming gear. You can easily use your phone to record short videos, which will make you more approachable as well.
Try to include short videos in your newsletter or email marketing campaigns, as well. Demos are particularly useful for this distribution method, as they will both provide value, and raise enough interest for your leads to wanting to learn more.
3. Go social
61% of content marketers have increased their use of social media for promoting content.
And if you are not present on social networks yet, your bottom line is likely suffering. According to Sprout Social, 74% of buyers are influenced by social media when making a purchasing decision. Enough said.
Don’t make the mistake of investing in promotion across ALL social media channels without a strategy. As with all other decisions, you should make this one based on your target audience.
- Facebook has the widest audience and offers you to go live, create groups and events.
- Twitter has the most active audience and is used on the go, often as a way to keep up with live events.
- Pinterest hosts a mostly female audience and should only be used if you can use visuals to promote your products.
- Instagram is used by younger and more on-trend audiences, and visuals remain key here, as well.
- YouTube is your ideal vessel for the abovementioned videos you are going to make.
Different niche markets also have their own smaller social media networks, and you should make it a point to find and use them if the audience appeals to you—or if you appeal to the audience.
4. Write it down
Only 39% of content marketers have a documented strategy.
This means that you can instantly gain an edge over them simply by writing things down. First of all, having a plan will mean that you are never left with the panicky feeling of not having anything to post. It will also mean that you can easily see what kind of content work best, and you will be armed with concrete data to fuel your upcoming campaigns. And data is the main fuel for success–you get the picture. Documenting your content marketing strategy will help you succeed.
Here is a step-by-step guide to planning your plan:
- Define your goal.
- Learn as much about your target audience as you can.
- Set out the channels you are going to use (blog, social networks, newsletter, etc.).
- Explore what types of content have worked well in the past and see if you can use some of them again.
- Write down all the places you can promote your work (online communities, paid partnerships, guest blogging, media coverage, etc.).
- Write down your content ideas and do keyword research for them.
- Figure out a promotion plan for each piece.
- Start creating!
- Never forget to promote!
The most important thing is to write everything down. Every single piece of data you have access to should be a part of your strategy (from your Google Analytics, social networks, Search Console, etc.), and every idea, no matter how silly it sounds, should also make it in there.
Don’t forget to leave some room for changes. You may run into a potential partner along the way and need to promote some of their work at some point. You may launch a new product earlier than planned. Add these new developments in as you go along, but always know what the set outlines are if there is nothing new to promote.
5. Pay for it
66% of content marketers use paid ads to promote their content.
The simple fact is that paid ads work. And they don’t even have to cost a lot.
With the right audience targeting, your ads can reach just the right audience, which is the main challenge faced by most advertisers.
If you choose not to view paid ads as a conversion tactic, but rather as a way to drive traffic, and your website as a conversion device, you will soon start to see the benefits of spending a certain amount of money on a paid ad.
There are dozens of ways to calculate your budget for this. Some advise you to calculate how much a conversion is worth and spend that amount. Others suggest starting with a minimal amount and tweaking your campaigns until you are certain they are targeting the right audience.
My advice is to take a good look at your budget and start small. Arm yourself with all the data you can, and only then start spending. There is no point in wasting even a dollar on bad targeting or ads that have no clear vision in mind.
As the world wide web keeps evolving, so does the content it houses. And as it does, marketers need to keep getting better at promoting their content. Yet, the one thing that has not changed in the past decade is the fact that the more data and planning you pad out your campaign with, the better results you will reap.
About the author
Anita Sambol is a content strategist and graphic designer at Point Visible, a marketing agency providing custom blogger outreach services. She has years of experience in designing graphics for web and running social media and content marketing campaigns. She loves cooking and football.
Source: Search Marketing