Content marketing has come a long way over a number of years and its connotation is no longer limited to simply putting words ‘out there’ or a reference to an ephemeral fad. It is the future of online marketing and a proven method to drive sales and revenue. Reports reveal that in the year 2014 alone, businesses spent more than $118 billion on content marketing, and this figure is set to rise. At least 85% B2B marketers have adopted content marketing as an online marketing strategy and this trend is becoming more widely acceptable among a variety of businesses and verticals.

  • Of course, with so much content published daily, only content that is personalized and is able to address the problems of readers, would be the ones that make an impact. Content marketing is now about focus and customization, rather than quality and quantity.
  • Erratic timelines and fluctuating quality will not make the cut – for a company’s content marketing strategy to be successful, consistency would be vital. Consistency in quality, distribution, publishing, and even promotion of the content is becoming the demand for the customer of today. Their expectations have become higher and they expect to be able to access content from wherever they are, through any online channel and smart device they choose. Even if a business is unable to have a presence on every online channel, they would need to remain consistent and relevant on the most preferred ‘networks’ and those most relevant to their target audience.
  • For content marketing to work towards a company’s success, the whole company must operate as a seamless whole. It is not the job of one department and neither is it a one-off campaign or exercise – it must scale across the company. Companies need a shift in their mind-set – content must be created and published with the view of providing value to the customer rather than be used as a strategy to sell. Content marketing must become part of the overall fabric of the company’s business strategy in order for it to prove successful for the business.
  • The aim of content marketing is not about putting out words and images for viewers. It is about giving them information that they can use to further the cause of their business and personal lives. Content must become the product of a company – a product that will create top class customer experiences, raise customer satisfaction levels, and would raise engagement for a company and the audience. Many companies have grasped this value, and have now starting creating content that would become a brand – valuable for the customers. The more valuable the content is, the higher the chances of increased purchasing and loyalty to a company.
  • The great part now for content marketing is that the technological advances have given companies a large number of tools and a variety of platforms on which to provide information and data to existing customers and target customer bases.
  • Customers prefer companies and offerings that seem connected with them – ones with which they can interact and those that appear ‘human’. To increase engagement therefore, content marketing needs to keep its focus on being interactive and appealing. The emergence of interactive videos, contests, online chat ‘communities’, and other such interactive methods, make content even more interesting and relatable.

There would be many more reasons why content marketing is the future of online marketing, and the choice of which methods to use depends on the company, its offerings, and its customer base. Companies have now understood and accepted that content marketing must become the culture rather than a one-off promotional effort. There have been huge and many strides in the realm of content marketing over the last few years – this trend is set to continue unabated.

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