Why is Content Marketing on the rise? There are two big reasons.
Content Marketing is What Customers Want
Content Marketing is an attractive option for businesses and customers because it recognizes the shift in attitudes and behaviors of the millions of people who now do most of their buying research online. The Internet has empowered consumers to make informed decisions and do business with companies that understand them and their challenges.
The result? Traditional marketing and advertising methods are being rapidly tuned out. Consumers have figured out that they don't have to be held captive to irritating advertising and marketing messages and are starting to avoid them. Content Marketing/Inbound Marketing was born on the premise that this shift isn't a bad thing and smart companies can change their approach and attract customers in a way that benefits both parties. Instead of seeking out and bombarding prospects, Inbound Marketing shares valuable content with the world. Because the content created addresses problems consumers are facing, potential customers gravitate toward companies that are offering answers. It starts a more productive dialogue between customer and business.
Those who find a company's content consistently helpful organically become customers. It's a natural fit. In fact, content can be so spectacular that customers soon become fans and advocates.
Content Marketing Gives Your Business Direction
The other fatal flaw of traditional advertising?
There's no way to know if it's working.
That's also the second reason Inbound Marketing is pushing traditional methods out of the way.
That's not to say that traditional advertising/marketing is entirely ineffective. Those platforms do have an audience. Measures like Nielsen ratings for TV and Arbitron ratings for Radio give an estimate of viewership or listenership. You know *someone* is hearing your message. You just have no idea how many someones or how it's being received. What you're left with, is an endless cycle of shooting messages into the darkness without valid, specific, or measurable feedback.
Content Marketing/Inbound Marketing offers the opposite. You get a dashboard full of real-time data that can tell you everything you need to know about your content's effectiveness. Armed with analytics, you can make smart decisions about which direction to take with your marketing.
Know where you're going
Content Marketing analytics give you direction. You can see, month-by-month, how your content is performing, who viewing it, and who is engaging with your company. That allows you to nurture leads by sending them follow up content or offering to meet with them to help solve their problems.
Identify good ideas
Data will tell you what is working. When you have a hit on your hands, you'll know right away. For example, if your list posts are performing better than longform and more readers are clicking on calls-to-action in shorter posts, that's a sign to follow that thread. Make more list posts. Fix your attention on the formats that work best for your readership.
Cut ties with bad ideas
Just like good ideas can be recognized sooner and capitalized on, bad ideas can be cut off quicker. That saves you time and headaches, pouring energy and effort into content types or messages that simply aren't landing. Instead, you can turn your focus to the content you know is working and leave the bad ideas in the trash bin.
Learn about your customers
Do you have a few CTAs that are outperforming all others by leaps and bounds? That might be a sign that it's time to pivot and promote that particular product or service more heavily. Clearly, the market for it exists. Content Marketing analytics can tell you things about your customers that you wouldn't otherwise know.
See the long view
Choosing marketing messages at random is short-sighted. But, that's life without data. With analytics, you can plan longterm campaigns, set goals, and track progress. If something goes wrong, you can make adjustments. Data gives you the ability to see your marketing strategy through.
Content Marketing is what the people want and it comes with a wealth of analytics that will transform how you view your marketing and your business. Don't guess whether or not your marketing is effective. Know that it is.