You and your company have a voice and content marketing gives you a chance to use that voice to connect a relevant message/solution to your target audience.
Content marketing — blogs, social media, articles, case studies, videos, infographics, etc — let’s people hear your message. It gives them a chance to see who you are, what you have and how you do what you do. It’s a tool that small businesses, even the hard core Do-It-Yourselfers, can use to get their message out.
In 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends , Joe Pulizzi says it:
“. . . remains a top priority for marketers in 2012.”
But it’s not new.
Content, In and Of Itself, is Old as Dirt
What’s new is:
- how we choose to use it,
- the tools that help us create and distribute it and
- the stories we decide to tell.
For a visual look at the upcoming trends in content marketing, check out the infographic above created by BlueGlass, The Content Marketing Explosion . If you can understand what marketers are doing and what they feel is most effective, then you tweak your own strategy (and the team that helps you execute it).
What Stands Out to Me
Is the difference between the most used marketing activities and the ones believed to be most effective. According to the study, the most used content marketing avenues are:
- articles (79%),
- social media—excluding blogs (74%), and
- blogs (65%).
But the content marketing channels that carry the most confidence for effectiveness are:
- in-person events (78%)
- webinars/webcasts (70%)
- case studies (70%)
In other words, the marketers in this study feel they are getting more impact from the in-person events, webinars and case studies than from social media, articles and blogging. Now, all of them have their place and can drive traffic to your site and generate attention for your business. But it’s interesting to see where the energy goes.
Measure Your Impact
Whatever you choose to do, you have to measure it. If you don’t, then how do you know that it’s working? Did your website traffic increase as a result of a specific marketing action? How many new visitors became blog subscribers and regulars to your site? And how many became new customers or made a repeat purchase?
You can use a tool like Google Analytics  to measure the impact of your content distribution. After you sign up for your account, your web designer can add the code to your website for you. Spend a little time learning how to read the charts and then you’re on your way to a bigger picture.
You get to see the websites that send you the most traffic and how many people actually go to your sales page and how long they stay. Google is not the only option, but it’s free, so that aspect lowers the barrier to entry.
With Every Marketing Strategy
You have to know what works so that you can do more of it and what doesn’t so that you can change it for the better. There is something to content marketing but which content and which medium? If you measure your impact you’ll be able to get the answer from your audience.