hall of fame
Jessica Clark

Times Are A-Changin’

In today’s consumer-driven market, where businesses must set themselves apart from the competition in order to survive, content marketing has emerged as an effective way for companies to develop personal connections with their target audiences. Traditional marketing initiatives, such as direct mail pieces and websites packed with sales pitches and advertisements, have taken a back seat to informative, engaging content about a business’s specific products or services.

88% of small businesses that are most effective in their marketing strategies have someone on their team who is responsible for the company’s content marketing strategies.

According to a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute, 88 percent of small businesses that are most effective in their marketing strategies have someone on their team who is responsible for the company’s content marketing strategies. In order to compete with businesses that have adopted the content marketing philosophy, it is wise to invest in a resource who can execute this effective tactic for generating active brand awareness.

A Loud but Unheard Message

When America entered the technology-driven era at the turn of the 20th century, businesses used television and radio to reach mass audiences.  Although their messages reached millions of people, their advertisements were broad and impersonal. With the development of the Internet, businesses could track consumer behavior on relevant websites and learn more about their consumers’ overall thought processes. However, because the Internet introduced consumers to many distant companies that they otherwise never would have encountered, businesses struggled to generate brand loyalty and attract local customers.

The Social Buyer

In the current age of social media, consumers have an unprecedented amount of influence on their peers’ purchasing decisions.

In the current age of social media, consumers have an unprecedented amount of influence on their peers’ purchasing decisions. Every day, potential buyers share photos on Instagram, post on company blogs and tell their Facebook friends about a purchasing experience that either promotes or diminishes a business’s credibility. All of these social platforms play an important role in content marketing; consumers share their opinions as companies monitor their behavior with a watchful eye, and then promote their brands accordingly.

Why An Outside Source is the Way to Go

More and more of the B2B and B2C businesses that are jumping in to ride the content marketing wave are partnering with marketing experts to create an effective strategy for promoting their brand and connecting with customers. As pioneers of the content marketing era, these resources know how to effectively place a business at the forefront of their industry through SEO, social media, visually appealing graphics or designs, an engaging and informative web presence, and so on. While 56 percent of B2C businesses say their greatest challenge is producing engaging content, outside marketing resources focus solely on boosting a brand’s image and presence in their market.

Rather than spending time developing content marketing strategies in-house, thousands of businesses are investing in accredited marketing resources that are employed with creative minds to bring a fresh, third-party perspective, and to identify and highlight companies’ standout qualities. Apart from proving highly effective in their work, these resources are designed to fit affordably in a business’s marketing budget. Hiring an outside resource reduces overall costs because this expert tailors an efficient and affordable plan for each unique business, targeting a specific audience rather than wasting time and money reaching out to the mass public.

The First Steps are the Most Important

The development stages of a content marketing plan are crucial in a business’s promotional and consumer-engagement success.

Once a business chooses to invest in a content marketing resource, it is equipped to continually implement the strategy that the outside company helped to create. The development stages of a content marketing plan are crucial in a business’s promotional and consumer-engagement success. In fact, when asked to name their top five priorities regarding content marketing, 58 percent of businesses said they are searching for a better understanding of the most effective types of content. An outside content marketing resource gives businesses the clarity that they need regarding how to best distribute relevant and valuable information to their target audience—ultimately, building brand loyalty.

Content Will Only Grow in 2016

Looking ahead, the most effective B2C businesses are planning to spend 38 percent of their marketing budget solely on content marketing in 2016, compared to 29 percent in 2015.  In addition, 77 percent of B2C marketers are planning to distribute more content in 2016 than they did this year. With the benefits of effective content marketing gaining more traction each year, other businesses that have not yet hopped on the bandwagon will need to step up their game in order to sustain their business. Businesses that are investing in an affordable outside content marketing resource are taking the initiative to keep their brand appealing and relevant. With 2016 right around the corner, businesses that have not already developed a clear and effective content marketing strategy should consider seeking an outside resource to help drive and motivate a consumer to choose their business.

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